WHAT HAPPENED IN MISSOURI? AMERICA’S MOST CONTROVERSIAL MEDICAL MARIJUANA LICENSING PROCESS EXPLAINED
Kansas City - Oct. 29, 2020 -- In response to the controversial denials of 1800 out of 2200 of medical marijuana applications in the state of Missouri, the Cannabis Consumers Coalition today published “What Happened in Missouri? America’s Most Controversial Medical Marijuana Licensing Process Explained”, an exhaustive, well-documented report on the history of marijuana reform in Missouri with a focus on the special interests behind the license caps and barriers to market entry in Missouri’s $500 million a year medical marijuana market. The full report is available at
“Missouri has seen almost a decade of well-funded entities promoting marijuana legislation that would benefit themselves through the creation of license caps and licensing processes that virtually guarantee non-insiders are left in the cold,” said Larisa Bolivar, founder of the Cannabis Consumers Coalition. “These practices violate the US Constitution’s numerous barriers to states enacting laws undermining the civil right to economic self-sufficiency and Congress’s authority to regulate any market that substantially affects interstate commerce. Worse, the same special interests who have already won licenses in Missouri’s market are now funding a ballot initiative campaign ‘Legal Missouri 2022’ that provides current medical marijuana market incumbents with primacy in the recreational marijuana market in what is likely an illegal market allocation scheme.”
The Missouri report follows on the heels of the CCC’s report on Arizona’s Proposition 207, the first in a series of white papers examining protectionist campaigns to restrict marijuana business ownership to members of a growing cartel of wealthy, politically connected, multi-state marijuana license operators.
Springfield businessman Desmond Morris said, “Missouri’s medical marijuana law gave opportunity to a privileged few who wrote the language of the Constitutional ballot amendment, had privileged access to the Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) during the implementation process, referred DHSS to the third party scorer who both ranked applications, wrote applications for direct competitors while earning millions of dollars, and ultimately won a monopoly of the market to the exclusion of hundreds of ordinary Missouri entrepreneurs who applied in good faith. We had a real opportunity to create lasting economic security for communities impacted by the drug war and missed the mark completely.”
“Over 800 Missourians are currently fighting for the right to own and operate a cannabis business after being arbitrarily denied, and the state of Missouri is using millions of dollars of application fees to litigate against its own citizens in the process,” said Leisa Stevens, a Kansas City applicant fighting the denial of her application, “The Missouri General Assembly needs to stand up for the people of Missouri in the 2021-2022 legislative session and ensure that this does not happen again.”
The Cannabis Consumers Coalition, a 501(c)3 cannabis consumer watchdog organization, opposes anti competitive market restrictions in cannabis licensing and works to protect consumer interests in legal cannabis markets.
Press Contact: Larisa Bolivar, , (703) 244-4857
Approach Missouri’s initiative petition, Constitutional Amendment 2, implementing medical marijuana in Missouri (now Amendment XIV to the Missouri Constitution). In January 2020, some 1800 out of 2200 license applications were denied, sparking a public controversy & legislative investigations into the process.