(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Now that medical cannabis is legal in Missouri, two St. Joseph men are laying the groundwork to become one of the first dispensaries in the state.
Andrew Hicks and Miguel Minnenhall are the co-owners of 20 After 4 located at 1303 S. 22nd Street.
They opened for business last Friday and serve people who are looking for CBD oils and other hemp related products, but with Missouri's medical marijuana law approved by voters in November, the two hope to one day expand their business into medical cannabis.
"It's huge capital for our area," said Hicks. "It's time to bring in some money and let growth prosper especially in our part of Missouri."
The new Missouri law requires the state health department to begin accepting patient applications for medical cannabis in early June. Patients who get approved will then be able to get medical cannabis from state approved dispensaries. Hicks and Minnenhall hope to be among the first.
"A lot of people are passionate and want to do this," said Hicks. "Of course it's profitable but when it comes down to it, it's about our rights and what's better for living and wellness."
Hicks and Minnenhall have applied for dispensaries in St. Joseph, Maryville, Kansas City and the Ozarks.
New dispensaries in the state will have to grow their own cannabis, a regulation Hicks hopes will one day change.
"Right now the way it's set up they want all the seeds from cannabis to come from the state and that's just not possible," said Hicks. "We need the outside help."
The state has collected more than $3 million in medical marijuana license fees in the first month of the program. The Department of Health and Senior Services said that 418 "pre-filed application forms" have been submitted which includes 226 forms for dispensary facilities, 128 forms for cultivation facilities and 64 forms for infused-product manufacturing facilities.
"Everything that we are going to do as far as dispensaries or the growing side is going to be local," said Hicks. "We're hoping to come in here and be a positive influence and work with the city and law enforcement. That's the main thing for our location. We want to be where we can help."
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