United States: Highlights From The Missouri Department Of Health's First Medical Cannabis Forum

On February 13, 2019, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) held a forum to receive suggestions regarding the drafting of preliminary regulations governing medical cannabis in Missouri. Medical cannabis was legalized in Missouri in November by a constitutional amendment approved by Missouri voters, known as Amendment 2.

The standing-room-only forum in Jefferson City included potential medical cannabis business owners and advisors, as well as potential medical cannabis patients, cultivators, and Missouri legislators. DHSS encouraged audience members to provide ideas that DHSS could consider when drafting proposed regulations governing medical cannabis. DHSS indicated that proposed rules will be released on an ongoing basis, with final rules to be released at the same time the formal application process begins.

Suggestions covered a wide range of topics related to medical cannabis in Missouri, including the relative weight that DHSS should give to each licensing criteria specified by Amendment 2, quality control and testing, fees and profits, startup logistics, and distribution issues.

Licensing

A number of audience members believed that the licensing requirements imposed by Amendment 2 are overly complicated and onerous for small business owners. They suggested that DHSS impose a page limit for medical cannabis business license applications to simplify the application process.

A large portion of the audience expressed strong concerns about out-of-state cannabis businesses. They suggested that DHSS give greater weight to businesses that can show that they are wholly owned by Missouri citizens or for DHSS to examine applicant capitalization to ensure that applicants are funded by Missourians. Another major concern was keeping profits on Missouri medical cannabis in Missouri communities. Audience members suggested that DHSS give greater weight, when considering license applications, to medical cannabis business applicants that include a community outreach or reinvestment focus in their business plans.

Quality control and testing

The audience expressed general dismay at the low number of medical cannabis testing facilities allowed by Amendment 2. Many suggested that DHSS implement specific testing protocols that facilities must follow to lend predictability to the testing process. To protect the integrity of the testing system, other audience members suggested that testing facilities should collect samples at random, rather than allow medical cannabis facilities to select their own samples to be tested.

Audience members disagreed as to the manufacturing standards that should govern infused product manufacturing facilities; some argued that DHSS should specify its own protocols, while others advocated that the DHSS should require compliance with good manufacturing protocols and Global Food Safety Initiative standards.

Fees and cannabis business profits

Many audience members were concerned the licensing fees for medical cannabis businesses are too high and will be a significant barrier to entry into the Missouri medical cannabis market. Another significant concern was the affordability of medical cannabis, especially if health insurance companies will not cover a medical cannabis patient's costs. Audience members suggested giving cannabis businesses incentives (such as reduced license renewal or annual fees) to provide discounts to indigent patients and to veterans.

Start-up logistics

The issue of sourcing seeds or mother plants to help cultivators get their initial crops underway was also discussed. Suggested solutions varied between immunizing cultivators who import medical cannabis seeds and strains from out-of-state from penalties under Missouri law to fast-tracking cultivator licenses, providing them more time to source seeds and clones for their initial crops.

Small business owners in the audience noted that they likely would not utilize the entire 30,000 indoor square feet they may be authorized to use for cultivation if their applications were approved. Some suggested that they be allowed to allocate their approved cultivation space between outdoor and indoor cultivation areas, up to the 30,000 square foot cap.

Attendees also suggested relaxing certification requirements for "ancillary" medical cannabis workers who secure, transport, trim, or dispose of medical cannabis waste to make it easier for smaller businesses to contract with or hire such workers to aid in their operations. One audience member asked if DHSS will provide a mechanism by which a medical cannabis facility could re-locate its operations under the same license.

Distribution issues

Audience members overwhelmingly agreed that ensuring access to disabled and remote patients is extremely important. One of the most common suggestions of the entire forum was that DHSS provide for a medical cannabis delivery system for disabled and remote patients. Along the same line, many audience members expressed dismay at the possibility that municipalities hostile toward medical cannabis will attempt to circumvent constitutional mandates for patient access to medical cannabis. Such audience members suggested that DHSS prevent municipalities from relegating medical cannabis businesses to the outskirts of town by zoning medical cannabis uses as "industrial."

Another major concern was the amount of packaging that medical cannabis dispensaries would be required to use if DHSS requires every medical cannabis product to be packaged separately. Audience members suggested that DHSS endorse "exit packaging" whereby dispensaries would be required to ensure that all products sold to a given patient were sealed in a single child-proof package when the patient leaves the dispensary. According to audience members, exit packaging would significantly reduce the amount of packaging that dispensaries use, resulting in cost savings and a reduced environmental impact.

At the end of the forum DHSS thanked the audience for their comments and suggestions and indicated that it would release proposed regulations on a rolling basis as they are drafted. Missourians will have an opportunity to comment on such proposed regulations before they are finalized on June 4, 2019.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Sign Up
Gain free access to lawyers expertise from more than 250 countries.
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Country
Position
Industry
Mondaq Newsalert
Select Topics
Select Regions
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions