City of Union -- stock

A proposed medical marijuana dispensary is under construction at the intersection of Independence Drive and Highway 47.

Union City Administrator Russell Rost said a building permit was requested for the site just west of Pasta House across Highway 47. He said on the permit, the applicant said the intended use for the building is to run a medical marijuana dispensary.

Rost said the applicant does not have a permit to operate a medical marijuana dispensary at this time because the state has not awarded any yet. The deadline to file for permits to the state was Monday, Aug. 19.

The proposed dispensary fits in with the city’s new medical marijuana zoning codes. Earlier this year aldermen approved a number of zoning districts related to potential medical marijuana industries.

For dispensaries, the city decided to treat them like pharmacies. Dispensaries are where the marijuana is sold to consumers who have state-approved medical cards.

The process will already be highly regulated by the state and is very secure, Rost said. The city said dispensaries will be allowed in the highway business district (B-2) without a CUP and in the downtown business district (B-1) with a CUP.

The proposed site is located in the city’s B-2 district. 

The only way to prevent a dispensary in the B-2 district is if it’s too close to a school or church. Rost said the state law requires any operation to be at least 1,000 feet away from any church or school.

Rost said he had some concern about the location as it relates to the new Union branch of the Scenic Regional Library, but he was told libraries aren’t covered by the church and school restriction. 

Background

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.

There will be a limited number of facilities in each of the state’s eight U.S. congressional districts. There are limitations to the number of facilities permitted in each district.

The state began accepting prefiled application fees Jan. 5.

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 dispensaries for each of the state’s congressional districts.

All of Franklin County is in the 3rd Congressional District. The district includes Lincoln, Warren, Montgomery, Callaway, Osage, Gasconade, Maries, Miller and Cole counties. There also are portions of St. Charles, Jefferson and Camden counties in the district.

Medicinal marijuana was legalized in Missouri in November 2018 through a constitutional amendment approved by voters. The plan is to have the new industry implemented by the end of 2019.