Microbusiness License FAQs
Back to Main FAQs
- What is a microbusiness license?
- A microbusiness is a marijuana facility license issued only to eligible individuals and entities. These licenses are essentially small businesses that are designed to allow marginalized or under-represented individuals to participate in the legal marijuana market.
- What kinds of microbusiness licenses are available?
- There are two types of microbusiness licenses available: microbusiness dispensary licenses and microbusiness wholesale licenses. 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 manufacturing marijuana product for medical or adult use. If cultivating, a microbusiness wholesale facility may cultivate up to 250 flowering plants at any given time.
- How many microbusiness licenses are being issued?
- In October of 2023, the Department will issue six microbusiness licenses in each of the eight Missouri congressional districts, for a total of 48 microbusiness licenses. Of the six in each district, two will be microbusiness dispensaries, and four will be wholesale facilities. The Department will issue an additional 48 in 2024, and another 48 in 2025. Time periods for those application windows will be announced on the Department website.
- Who can I contact if I have questions about eligibility, documents, or if I have trouble submitting my application?
- For any outstanding questions please reach out to the Facility Application Services Unit at CannabisFAS@health.mo.gov. If your questions need to be directed to a different section within the Division, the FAS Unit will forward to the appropriate person.
- What are the timelines for the microbusiness application process?
- Microbusiness Timeline (Updated April 6, 2023)
- What are microbusiness eligibility requirements, and do I need to meet more than one in order to apply?
- 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.
- How can I apply for a microbusiness license?
- The Department will be accepting microbusiness applications from July 27 – August 10, 2023. The Department will receive microbusiness applications electronically through a Department-provided, web-based application system. The Department will post the application forms and provide instructions for those forms on its website at http://cannabis.mo.gov by June 6, 2023.
- Are fingerprints required to be submitted as part of this application?
- Yes. To determine if the applicant has a disqualifying felony offense, fingerprints are required for microbusiness applicants for owners with 10% or more voting or financial interest. The Department will provide additional guidance during the application window as to when and how to submit fingerprints.
- Do I already need to have a physical facility/location before applying?
- Yes, applicants will need to provide the proposed facility address in their application. Refer to 19 CSR 100-1.060(3)(G) for additional information required for facility applicants.
- I am an owner of an existing medical or comprehensive marijuana facility license, can I apply for a Microbusiness license?
- No. An applicant may not have an owner who is also an owner of an existing medical, comprehensive, or another microbusiness marijuana facility license. If an owner of an existing medical or comprehensive facility is listed in the application, the application will be denied.
- How will I know if my application is complete and eligible or if the department determines that additional information is required?
- If your application is near the top of the list resulting from the lottery, the Department may request additional information or documents needed to determine eligibility for a license by sending the request to the email address of the designated contact associated with the application. If requested, the applicant will have three (3) business days to provide the requested information or documents.
- If my application is denied, can I apply again?
- Yes, applications not chosen by lottery will result in the application being denied. Those applicants may choose to submit a new application during the next application submission time period.
- How are microbusinesses selected?
- By law, microbusiness applications are selected via random lottery drawing. To ensure the integrity of the random drawing, the Missouri Lottery will conduct the drawing without reference to the identities of the applicants.
- How does the lottery process work?
- All timely applications submitted with an application fee will be entered into the lottery drawing. Untimely applications or applications without an application fee will be denied.
After the application time period closes, applicants will be sorted by congressional districts and license type (wholesale or dispensary), and assigned a sequential applicant identifier within those groups. The designated contact provided in the application will receive an email containing the applicant identifier prior to the drawing.
All applicants entered into the drawing will be listed in order drawn within their congressional district. Prior to awarding licenses, the Department will review the applications in the order drawn. In the case that an application is denied or an applicant does not accept an awarded license, the next eligible applicant in that congressional district will be awarded the license.
Random drawing results will be posted to the Department’s website as soon as they are available. Once the subsequent review period is complete, winners of licenses will be notified by email using the designated contact provided in the application.
- All timely applications submitted with an application fee will be entered into the lottery drawing. Untimely applications or applications without an application fee will be denied. After the application time period closes, applicants will be sorted by congressional districts and license type (wholesale or dispensary), and assigned a sequential applicant identifier within those groups. The designated contact provided in the application will receive an email containing the applicant identifier prior to the drawing.
- Can I submit multiple microbusiness applications to improve my chances in the lottery?
- No. Article XIV section 2.4(12) is clear that an entity may apply to the Department for and obtain only one license to operate a marijuana microbusiness facility, which may be either a microbusiness dispensary facility or a microbusiness wholesale facility. This means that an individual or entity may only be listed on one application, regardless of the amount of ownership interests. This limitation ensures everyone who applies has an equal chance at a license. If an individual or entity appears on multiple applications, all applications in which the individual or entity appears will be in violation of the rule and will be denied.
Fees and Refunds
- What fees are associated with microbusiness?
- The microbusiness application fee is currently $1500.
- Can I receive a full refund if I’m not awarded a license?
- Yes, per 19 CSR 100-1-060(2), a refund will be issued to any applicant not chosen by the lottery that meets the criteria for a microbusiness license and has no pending or future legal actions related to the denial of the application. Requests for a refund will be accepted beginning thirty-one (31) days after the date of the denial, but no later than six (6) months after the date of the denial.