June 01, 2023
Missouri cannabis microbusiness application instructions and sample forms available early
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Media Inquiry Form
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Ahead of the constitutionally June 6 deadline, Missouri’s cannabis regulators published microbusiness application instructions and sample forms today to give interested parties additional time to review prior to the July 27 - Aug. 10 application period.
When voters approved Amendment 3 in November 2022, one of the tasks assigned to the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) was to create a lottery process for granting a limited number of new small business licenses called “microbusinesses.” Microbusinesses are marijuana facility licenses issued only to eligible entities and individuals, and are designed to allow marginalized or under-represented individuals to participate in the legal marijuana market.
Majority owners and operators of microbusiness facilities must meet at least one eligibility criteria from Article XIV, Section 2 and may not be an owner of another facility licensed by Missouri’s Division of Cannabis Regulation.
- Applicants must be majority owned and operated by individuals who each meet at least one of the following eligibility requirements:
- Have a net worth of less than $250,000 and have had an income below two hundred and fifty percent of the federal poverty level; or
- Have a valid service-connected disability card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or successor agency; or
- Be a person who has been, or a person whose parent, guardian or spouse has been arrested for, prosecuted for, or convicted of a non-violent marijuana offense, except for a conviction involving provision of marijuana to a minor, or a conviction of driving under the influence of marijuana. The arrest, charge, or conviction must have occurred at least one year prior to the effective date of this section; or
- Reside in a ZIP code or census tract area where:
- Thirty percent or more of the population lives below the federal poverty level; or
- The rate of unemployment is fifty percent higher than the state average rate of unemployment; or
- The historic rate of incarceration for marijuana-related offenses is fifty percent higher than the rate for the entire state; or
- Graduated from a school district that was unaccredited, or had a similar successor designation, at the time of graduation, or has lived in a zip code containing an unaccredited school district, or similar successor designation, for three of the past five years.
- Applicants may claim more than one eligibility requirement on their application; however, it is not required.
Cannabis.Mo.Gov has also been reformed to provide this application information, eligibility requirements and answers to frequently asked questions about microbusinesses. The website will soon be used to announce public education programming and targeted technical assistance that will occur both online and in person. Section 2 of Article XIV required DHSS to establish this programming and assistance dedicated to providing resources to communities that have been impacted by marijuana prohibition.
Per Article XIV, Section 2 of the Missouri Constitution, the application fee will be $1,500. Applicants not randomly selected for licensure may be eligible for a refund.
There are two types of microbusiness licenses: dispensary and wholesale. A microbusiness dispensary facility is licensed to engage in the process of dispensing marijuana product for medical or adult use. A microbusiness wholesale facility is licensed to engage in the process of cultivating and/or manufacturing marijuana product for medical or adult use.
In October 2023, six microbusiness licenses in each of the eight Missouri congressional districts will be licensed for a total of 48 microbusiness licenses. Of the six in each district, two will be microbusiness dispensaries, and four will be wholesale facilities. An additional 48 licenses will be issued in 2024, and another 48 in 2025.
For more information about microbusiness licensing and application requirements, visit Cannabis.Mo.Gov. Those needing assistance with eligibility requirements or application forms can contact CannabisFAS@health.mo.gov.
Consumer Safety & Education
While the adult-use cannabis program was built based on guidelines approved by Missouri voters, DHSS, as the state’s public health authority, asks consumers to consume cannabis with caution. Adult consumers are encouraged to review the health effects of cannabis prior to consuming. Some important points of caution include the following:
- Individuals should not use cannabis if pregnant as doing so may harm the baby’s health.
- Individuals should not operate a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. This remains illegal and dangerous as driving requires a person’s full attention to stay safe and alert. Marijuana can slow one’s reaction time and ability to make decisions, impair coordination and distort one’s perception.
- Adult consumers should ensure products are not accessible to those under age 21. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the teen brain is actively developing and continues to develop until around age 25. Marijuana use during adolescence and young adulthood may harm the developing brain.
- Edibles, or food and drink products infused with marijuana, have some different risks than smoked marijuana, including a greater risk of poisoning. Unlike smoked marijuana, edibles can:
- Take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect, so some people may eat too much, which can lead to poisoning and/or serious injury.
- Cause intoxicating effects that last longer than expected, depending on the amount ingested, the last food eaten, and medications or alcohol used at the same time.
Children, adults and pets can mistake marijuana products, particularly edibles, for regular food or candy. Consuming marijuana can make children very sick. They may have problems walking or sitting up or may have a hard time breathing. If you have concerns of possible poisoning, call the Missouri Poison Center at 800-222-1222, or 911 if it is an emergency.
Mission of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS): To promote health and safety through prevention, collaboration, education, innovation and response.