Waiting for the green light: Missouri racks up $13M in medical marijuana application fees

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Aspen Jewel at Hemp Haven in Lee’s Summit is one of thousands in Missouri hoping to get a foothold in the state’s new medical marijuana industry.

“This is the brink of something amazing,” Jewel said.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services received a total of 2,163 applications to grow or sell medical marijuana by Monday’s deadline.

Interestingly, the application system received about 1,200 in the final three days, including 800 in the final 24 hours.

The application process included a non-refundable $6,000 fee. So far, the DHSS received more than $13 million dollars in fees.

And hundreds upon hundreds of applicants, who submitted $6,000 to be considered, will be disappointed when the state reveals who has been granted a license near the end of the year.

The state will review each application, with the help of an outside third party, and grant 348 licenses. There will be 192 licensed dispensaries, 86 marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities, 60 for cultivation, and 10 for testing lab facilities.

So what will the state do with the $13 million amassed in fees?

A spokesperson for DHSS tells FOX4 the money will be used for operating expenses, staffing, and other start up costs for the newest state-regulated industry in Missouri. Any proceeds left over will go into a new veterans health care fund.

Aspen Jewel at Hemp Haven, and thousands of others, are betting their futures on being a part of what’s expected to be a billion dollar industry.

“I think I graduated college at the perfect time,” said the 21-year-old who graduated from the University of Missouri last May. “And I cannot wait to hop into this industry.”

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