ST. LOUIS — It's a million-dollar industry making its way to Missouri, and so far the state has already taken in more than $3 million for making medical marijuana legal.
After you voted for it November, Canna Advisors say Missouri is issuing about 322 licenses, 60 for cultivating, 70 for manufacturing and 192 for dispensaries. Something experts say will do a lot to build innovation and competition in a high stakes industry.
"Now that we're moving into the legalization of medical marijuana which I also like to refer to as the end of prohibition," said Maranda Richardson, an entrepreneur looking to get into the industry.
Richardson considers herself a canna-prenuer.
She says times are definitely changing when a group of about 70 people can get together and weed through the details of this budding industry.
"It would be great for the state especially for the region when you think about the tax dollars coming in, the opportunities to not only provide financial gains but also education about marijuana," said Richardson.
Monday Maranda attended a workshop put on by Canna Advisors.
The Colorado-based group here to talk about how St. Louisans can break through the grass ceiling.
And start a business that's in high demand.
"It's changing I think its more of an awareness that people have now," said Diane Czarkowski the company's founder.
Czarkowski says she traveled to about 29 states showing people how to get a license to grow green.
Tickets to her workshops cost about $250.
"They call it the green rush and they think that dollars will just fall in your lap when you start a business like this but it really takes a long time," Czarkowski said.
While there's no denying there's money to be made, for Maranda this business venture is also personal.
"It's really important that people of color in particular black people have access to the industry when you think about people most impacted by the war on drugs and people literally still standing behind bars for something that people are now making billions of dollars off of," Richardson said.
The timeline for the provisions included in Amendment 2 begins on Dec. 6, 2018. Important dates to remember are as follows:
- Jan. 5, 2019 – Pre-filed application fees will begin to be accepted.
- June 4, 2019 – Application forms and instructions will be available.
- July 4, 2019 – Applications for identification cards will begin to be accepted.
- Aug. 3, 2019 – Facility applications will begin to be accepted.
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