The cannabis bullet train doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down in Missouri ever since voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure in the recent midterms to legalize medical marijuana in the state. Now more than 300 businesses are due to be licensed to participate in the medical cannabis industry once it is commercialized.
This announcement was made by Lyndall Fraker, the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program Director, while speaking at a medical marijuana conference in St. Louis on Monday (March 11). He added that if those 300 licenses weren’t enough, then the state wouldn’t hesitate to grant more to the businesses that wish to serve Missouri patients in different capacities.
Already, more than 450 applications have been received from entities that would like to cultivate, manufacture, dispense or test medical marijuana and its products in the state. It is from this pool that the state will select the first 300 businesses to be licensed.
For now, the regulator has set the minimum number of players that will operate in the different segments of the medical marijuana industry. These include at least 192 dispensaries, two marijuana testing facilities, 85 manufacturing facilities and 60 marijuana cultivation facilities.
When added up, those figures exceed the 300 licenses that will be awarded initially, so you can see that the state already has plans for an extensive and robust medical cannabis industry.
You may be wondering, won’t 300 businesses be too many for an industry that is just being set up? This concern may be legitimate, but if anything is to be learnt from the Canadian recreational cannabis industry, it is risky to allow only a few players in the industry.
The cannabis shortages in Canada can largely be explained by the country’s failure to license enough businesses to participate in the different aspects of the cannabis value chain. The resulting mess will possibly take years to fix. Missouri may therefore be onto something when they start off with hundreds of licensed businesses.
Besides, not all of those 300 businesses will start operations at the same time. And when they do start, not all of them will be successful. Others will close shop while more will merge with other businesses.
It is therefore a good thing that the state intends to give all those businesses a shot and then their fate will be squarely in their hands once they get hold of a license. Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE: GGB) (OTCQB: GGBXF), Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: GRYN) and all who wish to invest in the medical cannabis industry welcome the steps being taken by the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program to do things right from the get-go.
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