MICROBUSINESSES COMING TO THE MISSOURI CANNABIS INDUSTRY
In Nov. 2022, voters went to the polls and by a margin of more than 127,000 votes made Missouri the 21st state to legalize cannabis and the first state to automatically expunge past, nonviolent marijuana offenses by a vote of the people. Additionally, the new constitutional amendment also created a pathway for more Missourians to get into the cannabis industry through the microbusiness license program.
As the voice of trade for Missouri cannabis, MoCannTrade is creating pre-industry programming to help inform, prepare and educate microbusiness applicants including business contacts and resources, supply chain and service provider resources, virtual and in person event programming. This is the same approach we took when working to prepare Missouri’s existing commercial cannabis operators prior to both Amendment 2 and Amendment 3 passage. Our hope is to again address the needs of Missourians interested in applying for Microbusiness Facility Licenses and finding success as a licensed cannabis operator.
WHAT IS A MICROBUSINESS FACILITY?
A microbusiness facility refers to either a microbusiness dispensary or a microbusiness wholesale facility, both of which conduct operations related to marijuana for medical and adult use. A microbusiness is different from a medical or comprehensive facility because it is designed to provide a path to facility ownership for individuals who might not otherwise easily access that opportunity, such as those with a net worth of less than $250,000 or veterans with a service-connected disability.
In order to qualify for a microbusiness facility license, applicant entities shall be majority owned by individuals who each meet at least one of a number of qualifications set forth in the Constitution.
THE MOCANNTRADE MICROBUSINESS EXPLAINER
For more detailed information download a FREE copy of the MoCannTrade Microbusiness Explainer PDF by clicking the link below:
MoCann Q4 Member Meetup | Springfield
Tuesday December 5th 2023 2:00pm-7:00pm
MoCann’s Q4 2023 Meetup returns to SWMO for another night of knowledge share, connections, industry and business fellowship. Once again, we'll be taking over the University Plaza Hotel and Conference center for our large, private event to accommodate 600+ MoCann members.
Our quarterly industry meetups are free to attend for members and will again feature our very successful format of providing:
- An intimate brand and service provider expo area with over 40 tables
- A Missouri testing lab showcase, meet, greet and discuss your product testing needs with 9 different MoCann member testing labs.
- A standing up your Microbusiness panel discussion
- An industry policy panel discussion with MoCann's Government Affairs committee
- An industry and association update from MoCann
- A legislative planning update from MoCann's legislative partner Strategic Capital Consulting
- An industry after-event nearby
Microbusiness Panel Discussion:
You Won A Micro, Now What?
Get Your Microbusiness Operational With Expert Industry Insights
So far, 48 microbusiness licenses have officially been awarded (32 wholesale facilities, 16 retail dispensaries) and MoCann is once again assembling a panel of cannabis industry experts to knowledge share and support via key industry / compliance insights, best practices and efficiencies to help ensure a successful microbusiness launch.
In addition to the panel discussion, microbusiness members also benefit from access to Missouri’s established cannabis industry leaders with over 600 attendees in Springfield. Micro attendees can benefit from our Government Affairs rule, regulatory and legislative panel discussion, industry networking, a cannabis industry expo with over 40 relevant service providers, a testing lab village, industry after-event and holiday party that puts our commercial and micro members face to face in a casual yet professional business atmosphere.
MoCann meetups help bring together our industry under one tent and work to get industry participants informed, educated and prepared to integrate into Missouri’s highly successful cannabis industry.
Moderated By: John Payne - Amendment 2 Consultants | Amendment 3 Campaign Manager
- Boston Dickerson - Vivid Cannabis: an operators POV to stand up your cannabis business
- Patterson & Associates - Joe Patterson: security and IT planning/compliance, what DCR expects from licensed facilities
- Grow Generation - Hayden Sherman: finding efficiencies with the equipment and supplies needed to operate your licensed business
- AVAIL Pro Services - Paul Bocci: capital sources and alternative funding approaches
- Advisory Council - Stephen Boone: quality management system requirements, compliance and staff training efficiencies for micros
- Green Precision Analytics Testing Lab - Cullen Miller: understand what it takes to ensure all cultivated and manufactured micro products are ready for 3rd party testing requirement
Be advised, MoCannTrade quarterly meetups are member's only events. If you are not yet a member, you are welcome to purchase a membership online which will provide your group with (4) free registrations to the event. Each quarter, hundreds of Missouri licensees, stakeholders and service providers attend our meetups for industry-relevant thought leadership, policy impact, networking, and knowledge share.
No registration through this site, event registration provided directly to members via email.
APPLY FOR A MISSOURI MICROBUSINESS FACILITY LICENSE
The next application acceptance period for the first round of microbusinesses will begin in April 2024. No early applications will be accepted. Applications will only be accepted through the on-line registry portal.
Get started by reviewing the eligibility criteria and Microbusiness License Application form and instructions.
Microbusiness License Application, form number DHSS-DCR 16 (5-2023), is for informational purposes only.
DCR awarded the first 48 licenses on October 4th 2023.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A MICROBUSINESS LICENSE?
Applicants for microbusiness licenses must be majority owned by individuals who meet one of these equity requirements:
- Has a net worth of less than $250,000 and an income below 250% of the federal poverty level for at least 3 of the 10 calendar years prior to applying
- Has a valid service-connected disability card issued by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
- Is a person who has been, or a parent, guardian, or spouse of a person who has been arrested for, prosecuted for, or convicted of a non-violent marijuana offense unless the offense involved selling marijuana to a minor or driving under the influence
- Reside in a zip code or census tract where:
- 30% or more of the population lives below the federal poverty level
- The rate of unemployment is 50% higher than the state average
- The historic rate of incarceration for marijuana-related offenses is 50% higher than the rate for the entire state
- Graduated from a school district unaccredited at the time of graduation or has lived in a zip code containing an unaccredited school district for 3 of the past 5 years
How long are microbusiness licenses valid and when do they need to be renewed?
A facility license is valid for three years from the date the license was issued. Renewal requests must be submitted in a department-provided, web-based application system at least 30 days, but no sooner than 90 days, prior to expiration. These requirements apply to all licensees, including microbusinesses.
Can multiple applicants choose the same property as part of their application? If yes, what would happen if both got chosen?
Yes. In the event two eligible applicants are selected with the same proposed address, the department will review the circumstances with applicants and permit one of the applicants to change location within the congressional district.
Is proof of Missouri residency a requirement?
No. There is no residency requirement in order to apply for a microbusiness application.
How will I know if my application is complete and eligible or if the department determines that additional information is required?
If your application is near the top of the list resulting from the lottery, the Department may request additional information or documents needed to determine eligibility for a license by sending the request to the email address of the designated contact associated with the application. If requested, the applicant will have three business days to provide the requested information or documents.
If my application is denied, can I apply again?
Yes, applications not chosen by lottery will result in the application being denied. Those applicants may choose to submit a new application during the next application submission time period.
Can I submit multiple microbusiness applications to improve my chances in the lottery?
No. The regulations are clear that an entity may apply to the Department for and obtain only one license to operate a marijuana microbusiness facility, which may be either a microbusiness dispensary facility or a microbusiness wholesale facility. This means that an individual or entity may only be listed on one application, regardless of the amount of ownership interests. This limitation ensures everyone who applies has an equal chance at a license. If an individual or entity appears on multiple applications, all applications in which the individual or entity appears will be in violation of the rule and will be denied.
Who can I contact if I have questions about eligibility, documents, or if I have trouble submitting my application?
For any outstanding questions please reach out to the Facility Application Services Unit at CannabisFAS@health.mo.gov. If your questions need to be directed to a different section within the Division, the FAS Unit will forward to the appropriate person.
Is the congressional district based on the residential address of the applicant or the address of the proposed microbusiness facility?
Applicants must choose the congressional district where their microbusiness facility will be located. Applicants are not required to reside in the same congressional district as the proposed facility address.
If my application was among the first drawn applications in a congressional district, does that mean I am guaranteed a license?
No. The Department will not be able to announce which applicants will be awarded a microbusiness license until each application has been reviewed to determine if the applicant has satisfied all application criteria to receive a license. The drawing list for each congressional district is the order that applications will be reviewed. An application that was one of the first drawn applications may not be awarded a microbusiness license for a number of reasons, such as:
- The proposed facility location is too close to an existing school, church, or daycare.
- The application does not demonstrate the applicant is majority owned by eligible individuals.
- An individual or applicant appears on more than one microbusiness application.
- The application is in violation of a rule or Article XIV.
- This is not a complete list of reasons why a drawn application may not be awarded a license.
What happens if one of the first drawn applications selected in the drawing is determined to not meet the application requirements necessary to receive a microbusiness license?
If a drawn application is found to not meet application requirements, the next application from the drawing list will be reviewed. A denial notice containing the reasons for the denial will be issued to applicants determined to not meet application requirements. Any denied applicant may seek review of the denial through the Administrative Hearing Commission or may request a refund of the application fee.
MICROBUSINESS FACILITY MEMBERSHIP OVERVIEW
The annual member dues for a Microbusiness membership is $1000. At this time, MoCann is offering a $500 membership level for micro applicants to allow them access to all the benefits other commercial licensed members enjoy. After the 1st wave of licensure at the end of this year, if your group is successful in winning a micro license, your membership may be renewed for the coming 6 months for another $500. See microbusiness specific member benefits below:
MoCannTrade Microbusiness members gain important access to industry networking, knowledge share, and resources to support their potential cannabis business in Missouri INCLUDING these member benefits:
- Industry lobbying: In the last four legislative sessions, 100% success defending the Amendment 2 / Article XIV program from detrimental legislation.
- Eligibility to nominate / participate in board of directors, advisory boards and industry committees
- Bi-Weekly industry, policy, regulatory and program informational updates via MoCannTrade newsletter
- Unified representation for all industry, program, state legislative or relevant government matters
- Business listing (once licensed) and access to our member directory, the Yellow Pages of Missouri cannabis
- Passive participation in MoCannTrade stakeholder meetings/calls
- Team attendance at all virtual or in-person Member Meetups (limit 4 per in person event)
- Access to member’s only industry, education and online resource library
- Access to MoCannTrade member logo assets
- Free job postings on our industry job board
- Free “Industry Insider” digital subscription to Greenway Magazine
- Direct referral and social media spotlight of licensed business to industry
- Company/product logo and web link on website and eblasts footer
- Discounted tickets and exhibit presence for MoCannTrade conference, industry or lobbying events