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Missouri will award 348 marijuana business licenses — selected from 2,100 applications

There will be more than 1,700 dashed hopes by Dec. 31.

Early Tuesday, the Missouri health department announced that it received 2,163 applications for medical marijuana facility licenses as of its 4:30 p.m. Monday deadline. Under Amendment 2, the state must require competitive licenses for would-be owners of cannabis-related businesses. The state collected more than $13 million in application fees, according to a news release.

The state plans to award 348 licenses: 192 for dispensaries, 60 for cultivation facilities, 86 for manufacturing facilities and 10 for testing labs.

The health department has already approved more than 6,500 applications for qualifying medical marijuana patient and caregiver ID cards since it began taking them June 28, officials said in a Monday news release.

State officials have not always predicted that they would get so many applications from would-be “canna-business” ventures.

At a Springfield public forum held in March, Lyndall Fraker, director of medical marijuana, said that based on other states’ experiences with marijuana licensing, he thought the Department of Health and Senior Services would receive 600 to 700 applications.

In its Monday afternoon news release, DHSS said a breakdown of applications by location and facility type will not be available for several weeks.

“Staff resources are currently committed to reviewing applications for completeness,” the release said. [Read more at Springfield News-Leader]

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