Starting a cannabis company in Missouri? We’ve put together a state-specific guide covering everything from available license types to fees, requirements, and what you should include in a Missouri cannabis business plan. Jump to a section by clicking below, or go straight to our sample cannabis business plan.
Missouri legalized medical marijuana in November 2018 by passing Amendment 2, but the program didn’t start until October 2020, delayed in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients with physician approval can buy up to four ounces of marijuana every month, as well as grow up to six marijuana plants at home. Smoking, vaping, edibles, and infused products are all allowed.
Missouri has awarded its maximum number of licenses as of 2021, but the state has said it will increase the caps if demand warrants it. There are currently over 90,000 patients registered, and medical cannabis sales are expected to exceed $225 million in 2021.
Missouri issues licenses for four broad categories of cannabis businesses: dispensaries, cultivators (aka grow operations), infused product manufacturers, and testing companies.
Dispensary: This is a retail storefront where patients can purchase marijuana. Dispensaries must follow strict state-mandated protocols for security, storage, sanitation, labeling, and packaging.
Cultivator: These businesses, also called grow operations, grow cannabis plants indoors or outdoors. Marijuana is then either sold through a dispensary or sold to an infused product manufacturer, which will create products to sell. Like dispensaries, grow operations also are required to keep thorough documentation and adhere to Missouri-specific regulations.
Infused product manufacturer: Cannabis manufacturers produce items like edibles, capsules, and oils. Manufacturers wholesale these products to dispensaries.
Testing facility: Consumers and regulators alike demand consistency and quality control in cannabis products, which creates demand for marijuana testing labs. These labs use methods like liquid or gas chromatography to analyze products for CBD and THC content, pesticides, terpenes, bacteria, fungi, and heavy metals, to name a few.
Ancillary business: If you don’t want to grow, process, test, or sell cannabis in Missouri, there are plenty of other ways to be part of the state’s cannabis industry. You can create a marijuana app, payment processing service, consulting firm, pest management product, accounting firm, automated plant watering system, security service, packaging labeling service, or legal firm--and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Application fee: Applying for a cannabis business license in Missouri costs $6,000 for a dispensary or product manufacturer and $10,000 for a cultivation facility (no fee is listed for a testing lab).
Annual license fee: It’s $25,000 each year for a medical cannabis cultivation license in Missouri. For a dispensary or product manufacturer, it’s $10,000 each year.
Tracking: The Missouri Department of Health requires the use of a seed-to-sale tracking system, with several third-party solutions available including BioTrack and Metrc.
Background check: Applicants must submit fingerprints for a state and federal criminal background check.
A business plan is required to get a medical marijuana business license in Missouri if you want to run a grow operation or dispensary, but not for a testing facility or infused product manufacturer. If you plan on raising funding from investors, you definitely need a business plan.
Google your city or municipality name and “cannabis regulations” or “marijuana laws.” If your city or municipality’s website doesn’t have information about cannabis, check recent local news coverage or contact your city clerk, city manager, or town hall.
Confused or overwhelmed yet? That’s normal. With such a highly regulated industry, and one with different rules in every state, starting a cannabis company can be very complex. Get help with your cannabis business plan from Masterplans, the industry leaders. We’ve worked with hundreds of cannabis entrepreneurs like yourself to create investor-ready documents and presentations so you can not only meet regulations but get the funding you need. Click below for your free, confidential consultation: