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Missouri marijuana dispensaries prepare to extend who they can sell to, concerns linger about rollout

Four hundred current businesses will have the chance to apply to sell recreationally. Additional business owners can also apply to sell.

ST. LOUIS — Just 24 hours after Missouri voters passed Amendment 3, medical marijuana dispensaries across the state are preparing to apply for the option to extend who they can sell to.

"In talking with Illinois operators, they can contribute upwards of 30% of their sales to Missouri drivers licenses,” said Andrew Mullins with Missouri's Medical Cannabis Trade Association.

Come February, he said those tax dollars and sales will stay in Missouri. Four hundred current businesses will have the chance to apply to sell recreationally.

"They're already preparing," Mullins said. "They’re looking at capacity. They're looking at retail planning, how they're going to change their retail space. They're making any plans they may need to around security, around compliance.”

Another 144 licenses will be offered to new business owners.

"An opportunity for those who have been economically disadvantaged, those who have been marginalized to participate in Missouri's licensed commercial cannabis program," he said. "The winners will be selected at random.”

"We have concerns,” said Nichole Dawsey who heads Prevent+Ed.

The group works with those who are addicted to alcohol and drugs. They also work to keep children away from it.

"I can't tell you how many calls I got today saying, 'How am I supposed to talk about this at the dinner table with my kids?'" Dawsey said.

Her group is now reacting after Missouri voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana for adults.

"What’s the message that kids will get now about cannabis, and how can we put in some regulatory safeguards to make sure potency is considered? Marketing to kids is considered?" she said. “Before, we used to be concerned about if your mother-in-law comes over or you have a stressful day at work, are you grabbing a drink out the refrigerator. Now it's the same
thing but with cannabis."

As part of Amendment 3, those with non-violent marijuana offenses can have their records expunged. That process will begin in 30 days.

Courts in each locality will have deadlines to make sure the work gets done.

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