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More than 500 applicants vie to sell legal pot in Missouri

July 4, 2019
FILE - In this May 20, 2019, file photo, marijuana plants sit in a grow room under green lights that are used to not wake the plants during their night cycle at Loving Kindness Farms in Gardena, Calif. A retired cardiologist, an attorney with a high-profile law firm, a city councilman and large multi-state sellers are among the more than 500 names on applications to sell medical marijuana in Missouri. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A retired cardiologist, an attorney with a high-profile law firm and a city councilman are among the more than 500 names on applications to sell medical marijuana in Missouri.

Missouri on Tuesday released the names of those who want to sell medical marijuana and the cities where they want to open businesses to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after a court sided with the newspaper in a lawsuit challenging the state’s efforts to keep the records secret. Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, said the department would not appeal a Cole County judge’s order.

Missouri has raked in more than $3.9 million in fees from applicants so far. The state anticipates it will license businesses by the end of the year. The industry is expected to top $100 million in sales by 2025.

Two groups already grow hemp, marijuana’s botanical cousin. Noah’s Arc Foundation and Beleaf Medical are the only two companies licensed by Missouri to grow the plant for production of CBD, a non-high-inducing ingredient that is marketed as a medical treatment. The companies applied for 11 licenses at their locations in Chesterfield and Earth City.

Groups from outside Missouri applying for licensed marijuana operations come from Kansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Arizona and Tennessee. Altogether, they’re applying for at least 25 licenses to grow or sell marijuana. One of them, Curaleaf, a Massachusetts-based giant in the industry, wants to open in eight locations across Missouri.

A southwestern Missouri group, Sarcoxie Nursery — also known as MoFarma 21 — is run by retired cardiologist Dr. Paul Callicoat of Seneca. He wants to open eight locations across the state, including Kansas City.

Arnold Councilman Jason Fulbright is seeking to open two dispensaries, a growing operation and a facility that makes marijuana-infused products in Pevely and Imperial.

Bradford Goette, a board member of the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, wants to open a marijuana-infused products manufacturer in Fenton and five dispensaries in Fenton, Festus, St. Peters, Troy and Cape Girardeau.

Missouri became the 33rd state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in November. The state must approve at least 60 commercial growers, 86 facilities that manufacture marijuana-infused products and 192 dispensary licenses.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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