Potential marijuana dispensary operators are making their rounds throughout the county seeking information about opening up shop.
Medicinal marijuana was legalized in November 2018 through a constitutional amendment approved by voters.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) will implement the new law which states Missouri will issue ID cards to patients who have approval from their doctor that allows patients or caregivers to grow up to six marijuana plants and purchase marijuana from a registered dispensary.
In Pacific, aldermen already are taking steps to develop city codes regulating the growth, processing and dispensing of medicinal marijuana.
Union City Administrator Russell Rost received a written request from local attorney Mark Vincent who wrote that he has been contacted by potential clients seeking input on how the city will zone marijuana facilities.
Vincent requested that the city planning and zoning district begin discussing codes that would impact those facilities. The Union planning board is expected to discuss the issue Monday night.
According to City Administrator Darren Lamb, Washington officials also have been contacted with similar questions.
“We have received a few inquiries regarding dispensaries,” he said. “Typically they have asked about the type of zoning requirements, and what certification would be needed for occupancy.”
Lamb noted that dispensaries likely will be permitted in C-1 and C-2 zoned commercial districts.
“It depends on if they are manufacturing the product or they are just dispensing it,” he added. “If it is a dispensary it will be in a commercial district as long as it meets state requirements.”
Lamb noted there have not been any official permit requests.
“We will treat it like any other potential business,” he added. “We don’t take any position on medicinal marijuana one way or the other.”
According to Jeremy Crow, St. Clair building inspector, marijuana facilities also are on St. Clair’s radar.
“We have been in contact with our zoning attorneys regarding this matter and are hopeful to have a proposed ordinance soon,” he stated.
According to DHSS, there have been 462 prefiled application forms and fees totaling $3,328,000 received by March 11.
There will be a limited number of facilities in each of the state’s eight U.S. congressional districts. So far there have been 39 prefiled applications in the Third District where Franklin County is located.
There are limitations to the number of facilities permitted in each district.
The state began accepting prefiled application fees Jan. 5.
Then, on July 4, applications for patient and caregiver identification cards will begin to be accepted. Facility applications will begin to be accepted Aug. 3.