JEFFERSON CITY — At the same time Missouri regulators are working to get its recreational marijuana program off the ground, hundreds of lawsuits linked to the introduction of medical cannabis in 2019 remain in legal limbo.
Of the more than 880 lawsuits from businesses that failed to obtain a limited number of licenses to grow, transport and sell medical marijuana, 430 are still making their way through the state’s Administrative Hearing Commission process.
Marie Erickson, a spokeswoman for the High Court of Justice, said the remaining cases are in various stages of litigation.
Erickson said: “Some cases are pending in their decisions after the hearings, while some cases have been set for the session.”
Crushing the cases required the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to hire private outside attorneys at a cost of more than $10.2 million, including more than $700,000 since July 1
And at AHC, there is a vacancy to fill an attorney opening who will focus heavily on medical marijuana cases. The temporary job, which can be done remotely, pays up to $60,000.
“An ideal opportunity for experienced attorneys to continue practicing law in the short term and receive state benefits,” the job posting says.
As part of the licensing process to launch the state’s legal medical marijuana program, the state has received 2,266 commercial marijuana applications filed by at least 700 different groups. It granted 60 licenses to grow marijuana, 86 to manufacture marijuana-infused products and 192 licenses to open dispensaries.
Many companies that did not obtain licenses say that The state registration system for granting permits was flawed.
A check of the hearing committee’s agenda indicates that it will start next year before it is likely to be dissolved.
For example, a March 2020 case involving Dream Leaf LLC, which was unsuccessful in obtaining a license, shows that the parties may not meet in court until March or April.
Dream Leaf has applied to open a facility in Clay County near Kansas City, but the Department of Homeland Security said local ordinances prohibit operating the dispensary. In addition, the company claims that the scoring system used to determine the winners and losers was incorrect.
Now, those who have obtained medical licenses are in line for new recreational licenses, which were It was approved as part of a constitutional amendment On the November 8 ballot.
The change, approved by 53% of voters, gives current medical marijuana licensees the right to “convert” their medical licenses to recreational ones.
companies You will be able to apply December 8th to All-inclusive sales permits.
The state then has to take action on those requests within 60 days, making February 6 the date the state will be required to approve transfer requests filed on December 8.
DHS spokeswoman Lisa Cox told the Post-Dispatch earlier that officials expect to transfer licenses “before the 60-day deadline, once we have rules in place to provide blanket accommodations.”
Missouri Now between 21 countries that legalized cannabis for recreational use. Maryland voters also approved the legalization on Election Day. Voters in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota rejected similar measures