West County could be home to roughly a dozen dispensaries for medical marijuana based on license applications approved Jan. 24. In total, the greater St. Louis area will be getting 72 dispensaries across its three congressional districts. For medical marijuana proponents, the news signaled a welcome advance forward.
“I think we feel good about the general distribution of licenses [in the St Louis area] but we hope they do issue more soon,” Dan Viets, chairman of the Missouri Cannabis Industry Association, said.
Viets is an attorney who was also a key player with the group that helped get Amendment 2 on the ballot last year. He’s the president of New Approach Missouri, a political organization based in St. Charles that is among the most active medical marijuana advocates in the state.
Viets was quick to point out that Amendment 2 did not set a number on the maximum number of licenses that could be issued for medical marijuana business in the state. While he applauded the state for issues more licenses than the required minimum, Viets said he was optimistic we could see “far more licenses in the near future.”
The state approved the applications of the following West county businesses:
- Grassroots OpCo MO LLC, 15230 Manchester Road in Ballwin
- Nirvana Bliss II LLC, 1266 Old Orchard Center in Ballwin
- BBMO 1 LLC, 17409 Chesterfield Airport Road in Chesterfield
- TC AppliCo LLC, 453 N. Lindbergh Blvd. In Creve Coeur
- V3 MO Vending 7 LLC, 11062 Olive Blvd. In Creve Coeur
- BeLeaf Medical LLC, 16075 Manchester Road in Ellisville
- Growing Jobs Missouri LLC, 15654 Manchester Road in Ellisville
- Nirvana Bliss V LLC, 15396-15398 Manchester Road in Ellisville
- TC AppliCo LLC, 76 Hilltop Village Center Drive in Eureka
- JG Missouri LLC, 2093 Smizer Station Road in Valley Park
- COMO HEALTH LLC, 839 Meramec Station Road in Valley Park
The Daily Hybrid LLC, 337 W. Main St. in Eureka also has been approved by the state as a medical marijuana transportation facility.
In the end, 192 licenses were issued out of more than 1,100 applications received from across the state. But even for those fortunate enough to receive a license for an approved medical marijuana facility, some hurdles may remain.
Three business licenses were issued for dispensaries with intentions of locating in Ellisville. That news caught the city’s top official slightly off guard.
“I was surprised that the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services approved three dispensaries within our city limits,” Ellisville Mayor Mike Roemerman said. “None of these are approved with Ellisville so the next step for these entities is to apply with the city for conditional use permits. This will be our opportunity to vet the applicants and their proposed businesses. There are still concerns, so we will be looking at these carefully.”
Municipalities can only go so far in putting regulations and restrictions on licensed medical marijuana businesses. As Viets points out, Amendment 2 merely allows for local government to put “reasonable restrictions” on location and hours. This is mostly done through zoning ordinances.
Viets is equally quick to note that those who worked so hard to help make Amendment 2 a reality are willing to fight to protect the newest edition to the Missouri Constitution.
“If the cities decide to put undue restrictions, there will certainly be litigation,” Viets said.
Roemerman and other West County city officials are aware of the limits of their power now that voters have approved medical marijuana. He said for those three businesses intending to call Ellisville their home, the owners will still need to be reviewed by the City Council.
“I am sure they intend to take the next step or they would not have paid the money to apply for state approval,” Roemerman said, noting their next step will be to apply for a conditional use permit [CUP] with the city.
|Location||Number of Transportation Facilities||Number of Dispensaries|
Of the six cities examined for the table above, there were no approved medical marijuana-infused product manufacturing, cultivation or laboratory testing facilities licenses approved as of 1/31/2020. More information is available at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Website.