Marijuana dispensary licenses issued

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Perry County residents who qualify for medical marijuana prescriptions will have to travel to Cape Girardeau, Madison, St. Francois or Jefferson counties to make their purchases.

Last week, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services began the process of issuing a total of 192 licenses for medical marijuana dispensary facilities. Among those receiving licenses were four facilities in Cape Girardeau, three in Farmington, two in Festus and one each in Jackson, Fredericktown, Park Hills and Hillsboro.

Those licenses were among 24 approved for Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District, according to rules set forth in Article XIV of the state constitution. Each of the other seven Congressional districts in the state also received 24 licenses for a statewide total of 192 approved facilities.

According to a list supplied by DHSS, no Perry County-based businesses applied for a license.

“We are committed to making medical marijuana safe and accessible for qualified patients of Missouri,” said Lyndall Fraker, director of the DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation, in a news release. “This phase of program implementation is vital to product accessibility for Missourians throughout the entire state.”

The 192 facilities being licensed are the top-scoring dispensary facilities that meet all eligibility requirements as prescribed by the program rules.

Nearly 1,200 dispensary licenses applications from across the state were received by the DHSS and ranked through a scoring system. Licenses were granted to those receiving the highest scores in each congressional district. Those denied, said the DHSS, either did not meet all eligibility requirements or simply scored lower.

“Today’s milestone represents over a year of effort by many people to put the final piece in place so that appropriately screened patients in Missouri can receive medical marijuana,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS, in a news release. “We thank all who have helped us to date, and we will continue to listen so that we can best serve the people of our state.”

The sale of medical marijuana won’t begin until product can be produced in the state by licensed cultivation and manufacturing facilities.

Seed-to-sale facility certifications will be announced Friday.

Earlier this month, three businesses listing Perryville addresses were approved for a medical marijuana cultivation license, and a fourth was approved for a manufacturing license.

Despite their Perryville addresses, all four businesses — Focus Partners-Perryville LLC, FUJM LLC, Archimedes Medical Holdings LLC and Holistic Health Capital LLC — are all located just south of the Perry County line in Cape Girardeau County and are associated with JoAnn’s Greenhouses Inc. near Biehle.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, individuals involved with FUJM and Archimedes Medical Holdings donated at least $15,000 in March to a political action committee raising money for Gov. Mike Parson’s re-election campaign, including $5,000 from Blonie Dudney, a St. Louis eye doctor.

Dudney previously told the Post-Dispatch that the investor group comprises five St. Louis-area physicians who are interested in using cannabis to treat illnesses.

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