Marijuana

There have been 22 applications prefiled for medical marijuana facilities in Franklin County, primarily for growers.

That is according to data released Tuesday, June 25, by the state that shows there have been 14 applications filed for growing marijuana, six for manufacturing of infused products and two for dispensaries. 

Statewide there has been a total of 543 prefiled application forms and fees totaling $3.9 million received by Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) as of June 20.

According to the DHSS, those numbers could change when the facility application process begins Aug. 3. On Friday, the state began accepting applications for medical marijuana patients. An application is at the DHSS website.

Because the official application process for facilities does not begin until August, there is no guarantee these numbers, including the 22 proposed facilities in Franklin County, will be representative of where actual proposed facilities will be positioned, DHSS officials said.

“Although these numbers are not at all final, we hope this information will give potential applicants, as well as cities and counties, some perspective on the field of applicants in their respective areas,” said Lyndall Fraker, director of DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation.

Medicinal marijuana was legalized in November 2018 through a constitutional amendment approved by voters, with restrictions.

The state is required by the law to approve at least 60 commercial growers, 86 facilities that manufacture marijuana-infused products and 192 dispensary licenses, 24 dispensaies for each of the state’s congressional districts.

There are four potential operations, which include cultivation where the product is grown, infusion operations where the marijuana is infused into products, dispensaries where the medical marijuana is sold and labs where the marijuana is tested.

There will be 10 facilities in Missouri licensed to test medical marijuana.  

Franklin County ranks near the top of the state in number of applications prefiled. It also is one of the few counties statewide that have applications of each dispensary, cultivation and manufacturing facilities.

Jackson County had the most applications prefiled with 104, that incudes 21 applications for cultivation, 69 for dispensaries and 14 manufacturing. Next on the list is St. Louis County with 84 applications, 51 for dispensaries, 17 for cultivation and 16 for manufacturing marijuana-infused products. 

A map of the applications in each county can be viewed at mogov.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=dfbb110362f146e68a37636143d24bc1.

Local Codes

Meanwhile, the county and municipalities have begun approving zoning codes to accommodate medical marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and dispensary facilities.

Franklin County Counselor Mark Piontek, who also is the city of Washington’s elected city attorney, said the county will see changes to its codes to prepare for the possibility of medical marijuana in unincorporated areas.

“I know the county is looking at amending its codes to specifically add definitions and identify zoning districts where medical marijuana cultivation, medical marijuana-infused products manufacturing, and medical marijuana dispensary facilities can be located,” he said. “I suspect code amendments will be on the agenda for the planning and zoning commission public hearing and then the county commission public hearing in the next month or so.”

According to Sal Maniaci, Washington community and economic development director, the city is not adopting any ordinances “above and beyond” the state law. 

“Dispensaries will fall under the same category as a pharmacy and are allowed in any commercial district,” he explained. “Cultivation facilities are considered manufacturing and are required in industrial districts. 

He added that all facilities will be at least 1,000 feet from a church, school, or day care, which complies with state law.

Earlier this year the city of Union adopted zoning codes for the facilities, that includes cultivation operations to be permitted in agricultural nonurban zoning districts with a conditional use permit (CUP). The city also is considering allowing cultivation in the industrial I-1 zoning district with a CUP.

Marijuana-infused product facilities will be allowed in the industrial I-1 zoning district with a CUP, and dispensaries are allowed in the B-2 zoning district with a CUP.

In St. Clair, aldermen approved zoning amendments in June which reduce the required distance for a cultivation facility from a school to 750 feet. Dispensaries are allowed in C-2 general commercial and C-3 shopping center districts.

St. Clair officials also approved cultivation facilities and marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities in I-1 light/heavy industrial manufacturing. The board also placed restrictions on the hours of operation for dispensaries.  

Pacific aldermen reduced the buffer between medical marijuana providers and churches, day care centers and schools to 100 feet. 

Manufacturing and testing marijuana is permitted in the M-2 heavy industrial zoning districts in Pacific. Growing indoors would be permitted as a conditional use in industrial zoning districts with a CUP and growing outside an enclosed building is permissible in N-U nonurban zoning districts with a CUP. 

Dispensing facilities are permitted in a C-2 arterial commercial zoning district and C-1 downtown commercial zoning district.