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    Missouri Medical Cannabis Program Continues To Exceed Expectations topping 100K patients see more

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.: Missouri’s medical cannabis program has passed a notable milestone, with more than 100,000 active patients and caregivers approved to use and purchase medical cannabis.

     

    State officials confirmed the six-figure count on Tuesday after a weekly update by the state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) released one day earlier showed a running total just a few dozen shy of that mark.

     

    The Missouri program’s continued growth comes just 22 months since enrollment began — and years ahead of initial estimates.

     

    The enrollment boost comes as a similar surge of retail outlets across the state open their doors, and more producers receive state operating approval. To date, 141 medical cannabis businesses fall into that category, including 92 dispensaries serving patients and caregivers.

     

    With Missouri planning to authorize a total of 192 dispensaries statewide, medical cannabis patients here will have greater access than in each of the other 19 states with similar programs, behind only Oklahoma.

     

    By comparison, the state of Illinois —which with 12.67 million residents has a population more than double that of Missouri — has only 55 licensed, operating dispensaries. That’s less than one-third of Missouri’s eventual total for a program that began several years earlier.

     

    “This patient enrollment milestone is testament to the strong public support —and pent-up demand — for safe, laboratory-tested medical cannabis in Missouri,” said Andrew Mullins, executive director of MoCannTrade (The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association). “And as more businesses come online seemingly every day now, we only expect that patient count to grow even more in the weeks and months ahead.”

     

    Statewide sales continue an upward trajectory, with a record $3.3 million in sales

    over the most recent seven-day period and a cumulative total of $38.45 million over the past four months. The record-setting week (which included the unofficial cannabis holiday of 4/20) marked a 21 percent boost from the previous week’s sales.

     

    Missouri regulators have also issued nearly 3,000 agent identification cards to medical cannabis industry employees, fueling economic investment in the state by an industry that’s expected to generate nearly twice that many jobs, more than $800 million in direct spending and another $570 million in indirect spending.

     

    Under Article IX of the state Constitution, Missouri residents with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma and 20 other qualifying conditions can purchase or cultivate medical cannabis with a physician’s certification. The law also provides physicians with the discretion to certify patients who have other chronic and debilitating medical conditions that could benefit from medical marijuana, and legally protects their right to have such conversations.

     

    Medical cannabis sales in Missouri include an additional 4 percent sales tax dedicated to health

    and care of military veterans.

     

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    MoCannTrade (The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association) is an association of business owners, health care providers, professionals, patients and residents responsible for helping to implement a successful, safe, compliant medical marijuana program in Missouri.

     

    The membership-based association is directed by a board of diverse professionals experienced in medical marijuana, healthcare, law, pharmaceutical, science, agriculture, law enforcement, security, commercial real estate, finance, public affairs and regulatory sectors.

     

    To learn more about MoCannTrade please visit www.mocanntrade.org

  • Article
    Association says Amendment 2 puts Missourians first see more

     

    Association says Amendment 2 puts Missourians first

     

    (St. Louis, Missouri October 23, 2018) — Today, MoCannTrade (The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association) endorsed New Approach Missouri and Yes on 2. Amendment 2 puts healthcare decisions back in the hands of patients and lets voters decide if Missouri should become the 31st state to allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients with debilitating illnesses.

    “Amendment 2 ensures Missouri residents can work with their physician to decide if medical cannabis could be helpful to them. The New Approach initiative has clear rules which put the needs of Missourians first,” said Andrew Mullins, Executive Director of MoCannTrade.

    “MoCannTrade supports all efforts to improve patient access to medical cannabis for Missourians. With this in mind, MoCannTrade is endorsing the efforts of New Approach Missouri and its ‘Medical Marijuana and Veteran Healthcare Services Initiative” says MoCannTrade board co-chair John Curtis.

    With a board of directors comprised of healthcare, regulatory and business professionals, MoCannTrade is one of the most trusted advocate voices on medical cannabis in the state. After reviewing the three initiatives Missouri voters will be faced with November 6th, the trade association endorsed Amendment 2 for being the safest and most compassionate way forward for Missouri patients and doctors who want to pursue medical cannabis as a treatment option for serious illnesses.

    Dr. Mimi Vo, M.D., chair of MoCannTrade’s Healthcare Education & Training Committee and owner of an internal medicine practice in St. Louis, spoke on the endorsement, “My integrative and evidence-based approach to practicing medicine along with my training and knowledge of medical cannabis helps me to understand alternative treatments for my patients. I consider the health, wellness and safety of my patients and community a top priority and I endeavor to bring more education and awareness of medical cannabis to the medical community. I support Amendment 2 because it provides safe access and the ability for me and my physician peers to decide what’s best for our patients.”

    Dr. David Yablonsky, D.O., a board-certified internist and MoCannTrade board member who participates in Illinois’ medical cannabis program added, “As a doctor, I have been participating in Illinois’ medical cannabis program since its inception and have worked with many patients to get them the care they need. I am excited to be part of MoCannTrade’s Healthcare committee working to inform and educate practitioners on the anecdotal and evidential success of medical cannabis, especially as an alternative to opioids. We know there is a lack of information and fear amongst parts of the medical community. We are actively working to better inform practitioners and support Amendment 2 as it provides safe access to medical cannabis and lets state licensed physicians decide what’s best for Missouri patients.”

    Dr. Patricia Hurford, M.D., M.S., a board-certified rehabilitation and pain management specialist in Missouri added “As a patient-first proposal, Amendment 2 spells out best practices ensuring patients suffering from debilitating conditions can work with physicians they trust to get safe and compassionate access to medical cannabis. As a pain specialist who knows opioid medications can have serious health consequences, Amendment 2 gives Missourians a real option in reducing opioid consumption.”

     

    New Approach Missouri is a coalition of medical professionals, patients and advocates working to pass Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana in Missouri for patients with serious illness or medical conditions. To learn more about New Approach Missouri or to get involved, Missourians can visit www.newapproachmissouri.com.

    MoCannTrade is an association of business owners, professionals, practitioners & patients proactively working together to build a successful, safe, compliant medical cannabis industry. By joining our collective knowledge and experience with the best practices and expertise of other cannabis-legal states, we’ll safeguard stakeholders and streamline industry participation. To learn more about membership, visit www.mocanntrade.org

    Photo credit: Jennifer Silverberg Photography

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    For more information:

     

    MoCannTrade-Amendment 2-Yes On 2-Press Release

  • Article
    Post originally published via MoCannTrade member and attorney Paul Anderson’s blog: see more

    On Wednesday, the Missouri Department of Health made two significant announcements that signal the implementation of medical marijuana is moving full speed ahead.

    Representative Lyndall Fraker was appointed to serve as the Director of Medical Marijuana, and Amy Moore will act as the Deputy Director/Counsel. Fraker is a proponent of medical marijuana and appears poised to fulfill his duties as Director to ensure Amendment 2 is carried out to its fullest. “Administering this new program needs to be done in the right way for Missouri,” Fraker said in the DHSS press release. “I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Missouri in my new capacity. Fraker, a Republican from Marshfield, is subject to term limits, after serving eight years as a State Representative for District 137. DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams appeared equally enthused to add Fraker and Moore to the team.

    “We are thankful for members of our DHSS team for their efforts in meeting the January 5 requirement to collect nonrefundable fees for facilities as specified in Constitutional Amendment 2,” said DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams in the press release. “We welcome Lyndall and Amy and their leadership as we dutifully execute the implementation of Amendment 2.”

    In addition to appointing Fraker and Moore to lead the Medical Marijuana division, the DHSS announced its first major development in the application process to obtain a license to operate a medical marijuana cultivation facility, dispensary or infused products manufacturing facility.

    The DHSS published the Pre-Filed Application Fee Form and announced that it will start accepting fees on January 5, 2019. Pursuant to Amendment 2, this allows applicants to pay their application fees in advance.

    As discussed here, the application fee is nonrefundable and varies depending on which license an applicant is applying for:

    • $10,000 for medical marijuana cultivation facility,
    • $6,000 for dispensary,
    • $6,000 for infused products manufacturing facility.

    From DHSS:

    • Application fees are non-refundable.
    • The Pre-Filed Application Fee Form is not the facility application form.
    • Facility application forms will be made available at a later date.
    • Early submission of application fees does not guarantee a license or provide any competitive advantage in the application process.

    Fees may be paid by personal or certified check, cashier’s check, or money order and it must be mailed along with the completed application form to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, FEE Receipt Unit, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570. The fee and application may also be personally delivered during business hours to the DHSS at 920 Wildwood Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109.

    Paying the fee in advance will not give you a competitive advantage in the application process since the awarding process will be based entirely on merit. If anything, paying in advance may give you the peace of mind that your nonrefundable fee has been paid, received and cleared. It may also give you a psychological boost knowing that you now have real skin in the game.

    With these two developments, occurring less than 14 days after Amendment 2 became effective, it certainly appears that the DHSS is fully committed to making medical marijuana a reality in Missouri.