Your search results

Missouri – Cannabis License Application & Regulations Details

by Roger Tower on June 2, 2023
Missouri – Cannabis License Application & Regulations Details

On November 8th, 2022 Missouri voters made their voices heard and overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to legalize adult use recreational sales of cannabis. 

Contact our team for immediate support with licensing applications, real estate, and compliance in Missouri.

Just over a half year later, the state is moving fast to implement its adult use market by beginning to accept applications for a lottery for the state’s first adult use licenses in late July.  This is months before the original September 4th deadline mandated in the state’s implementation bill.  Until now, only a handful of existing medical dispensaries were allowed to apply to co-locate adult use sales at their stores.

Legal marijuana sales in Missouri have skyrocketed in the last few years since the first medical sale to a cancer patient in the state was recorded, with Missouri’s Division of Cannabis Regulations (MDCR) reporting that the state officially crossed a billion dollars worth of legal sales on May 2nd, 2023. 

With only a handful of existing medical dispensaries being allowed to sell adult-use cannabis, in the first three months of adult recreational cannabis sales, Missouri sold $350.2 million, including $256.2 million of adult-use cannabis and $94 million in medical marijuana.  Read on to learn how you can secure one of these lucrative early seed-to-sale licenses in Missouri.

What License Types Will Be Available in Missouri?

In this first early round of applications, only two license types will be 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.

Microbusiness licenses in the state of Missouri are designed for marginalized or under-represented individuals looking to participate in Missouri’s cannabis industry and operate similarly to social equity licenses in California or Conditional Adult Use Licenses in New York.  Each individual will be limited to holding interest in a single microbusiness license in the state. 

In the future, the state will hold additional lotteries for comprehensive facility licenses that do not have the same qualification restrictions as microbusiness licenses, and are available to the general public. There is no timeline yet for the lottery for these comprehensive marijuana dispensary facilities applications, and the department will publicly announce dates at least six months before they begins accepting any.

Register for Upcoming Webinar:

We are excited for this Missouri webinar to bring together a panel of cannabis industry experts who will share their insights on the regulations, opportunities, and roadblocks associated with operating a licensed cannabis business successfully in Missouri. Opening a legal cannabis business is a challenging undertaking and maintaining that business is just as complicated. Our goal is to make the process of opening and maintaining a legal cannabis business smooth, easy to understand, and ready to scale for the future.

Microbusiness License Qualifications

The Missouri Constitution provides that microbusinesses must be majority owned by individuals who meet at least one of the eligibility criteria set forth in Article XIV, Section 2 listed below. Applicants may claim more than one eligibility requirement on their application, however, it is not required.

  1. Have a net worth of less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000), and have had an income below two hundred fifty percent (250%) of the federal poverty level, or a successor level, as set forth in the applicable calendar year’s federal poverty income guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or its successor agency, for at least three (3) of the ten (10) calendar years prior to applying for a microbusiness license; (See documentation requirements)
  2. Have a valid service-connected disability card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or successor agency; (See documentation requirements)
  3. 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 at least one (1) year prior to the effective date of this section, unless the conviction—
    1. Involved provision of marijuana to a minor; or
    2. Was for driving under the influence of marijuana;
    3. (See documentation requirements)
  4. Reside in a ZIP code or census tract area where—
    1. Thirty percent (30%) or more of the population lives below the federal poverty level; (See documentation requirements)
    2. The rate of unemployment is fifty percent (50%) higher than the state average rate of unemployment; or (See documentation requirements)
    3. The historic rate of incarceration for marijuana-related offenses is fifty percent (50%) higher than the rate for the entire state; or (See documentation requirements)
  5. 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.
    (See documentation requirements for graduation)
    (See documentation requirements for residency)

How many Missouri 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 state’s website in advance.

Each individual will be limited to holding interest in a single microbusiness license.

Lottery Information & Application Dates

Application Dates: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services 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. 

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.

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.

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. In addition, applicants will need to submit blueprints and floorplans of their proposed business at the time of application.

Application Limitations in Missouri

Individuals are limited to a single 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 held. Also any individuals with existing interest in a medical, comprehensive, or microbusiness license will be barred from applying for a new microbusiness facility license. 

These limitations apply for applications for new microbusiness licenses only, so general applicants affected by these restrictions will not be barred from applying to future lotteries for comprehensive facility licenses.

Application Fees in Missouri

Each application requires a $1,500 deposit at the time of application to be considered for the lottery.  

However, 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.

Application Links and Required Documentation

The state has made application submittal forms and guidance materials available early at the states website and can be found here.

Along with attestations and background checks for all interest holders in the application, applicants will be required to provide the following additional documentation:

  • A visual representation of the applicant’s ownership structure including all entities (and individuals) listed in ownership section of the application
  • If applicable, a copy of local government requirement replacing the department’s 1000 foot rule
  • If applicable, a copy of, and a hyperlink to, local government requirements
  • Blueprints or floor plans with rooms clearly labeled, including purpose and square footage for individuals claiming majority ownership, documentation to demonstrate eligibility criteria
  • A valid (non-expired) government-issued photo id if any individuals listed on the ownership tab have submitted fingerprints for a state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background check. Also, an attachment that lists the individual’s name and transaction control number (tcn).
  • A fee of $1,500 is required at the time of the application submission.

Missouri State Location Requirements

Unless expressly allowed by the local government, no medical or marijuana facility, including any offsite warehouses, shall be sited, at the time of application for license, certification, or local zoning approval, whichever is earlier, within one thousand feet (1,000′) of any then-existing elementary or secondary school, daycare, or church.

Local Control

Individual counties and cities will be allowed to pass zoning requirements and setbacks of their own choosing and are even allowed to reduce the setbacks from sensitive uses to distances smaller than the state standards.  If a city or county wishes to opt out of allowing adult use sales completely they may do so, but only with a voter approved ballot measure during a presidential election year.  The first opportunity to do so will be during the 2024 November election.

Tax Rates

The State of Missouri has a 6% tax rate on adult use cannabis sales and individual jurisdictions were able to place local tax measures on their ballots for the April 2023 election period to enact an additional 3% local cannabis tax. Contact us today to help identify which local municipalities passed a ballot measure for taxes, and which ones haven’t.

Remember to Choose an Experienced, Reliable and High Quality Licensing Consultant

At WeCann, we are a full service consultant that helps operators to:

• understand their local and state regulations
• build a proper business strategy
• determine which local municipalities are the best fit for them
• procure and broker properties that qualify for licensing
• complete license application materials

Missouri Cannabis License Application Support

Contact our cannabis licensing experts to begin your application for Missouri’s Marijuana (Cannabis) Adult Use Market. Our team specializes in winning licenses in competitive markets and are ready to go to battle for your business to have the highest chance of success at becoming a licensed operator in Missouri.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  • Join Newsletter


  • Advanced Search

    $ 0 to $ 60,000,000