How to Open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Missouri?

Have you decided to break into the medical marijuana industry in Missouri? It’s a new field for interested entrepreneurs, and it could be a major source of income for those who are devoted and ready to put their passion into making this business successful.

Once fully operating, the industry is expected to generate hundreds of millions in annual sales. Though the prospects of a huge payout can be tempting, the medical marijuana industry isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes sincere devotion and reverence of the regulations in order to turn a profit and avoid legal repercussions.

Are you ready to learn more about how to get started in this groundbreaking industry? We’ve listed the top five things you’ll need before you can open a dispensary in Missouri.

1. Have a completed dispensary license application

The state of Missouri began accepting pre-filed application fees on January 5th, and complete applications will be available by June 4th or sooner. If you are interested, it’s best to pre-file your fees as soon as possible. Once applications are released to the public, it will be vital that you pay close attention to each requirement listed on application. Prepare any documentation that you anticipate will be needed and have all of your business information available so you are ready to go once applications are live.  The application fee is $6,000 for a dispensary, $10,000 for a cultivation business and $6,000 for an infused products manufacturing business. You can find the application for pre-filing fees at the Department of Health and Senior Services website.

2. Obtain upfront capital

It isn’t cheap to get started in the medical marijuana industry. In fact, you’ll likely need a good amount of capital to get started, let alone to be successful. Having proof of capital is a major component of your application, as the state cannot be sure you will be successful if you cannot fund your own business. It is suggested that you use outside investors to help you obtain the money needed, especially investors who already have experience in the field. In Missouri, any business entity that seeks a medical marijuana license must have majority ownership by people who have been residents of Missouri for one year or longer. In other words, Missouri residents must own at least 51% of a corporation or limited liability company.

3. Hire a highly qualified team

This industry isn’t one that you’re meant to tackle alone. You’ll need a team of specialists across a number of fields to assist you. The most successful medical marijuana dispensaries have interested parties who are doctors, healthcare administrators, engineers, horticulturalists and entrepreneurial experts. Since it would be impossible for you to wear all of these hats, having coworkers and consultants with this knowledge is necessary to your business’s progress. Whether they’re a part owner or a member of your board, you need experts in your corner who can help you to navigate this field.

4. Bring on a trained legal team

Medical marijuana may be legal in 32 states, but it is still illegal on the federal level. This means there are many legal intricacies that you will have to navigate in order to abide by the law. New bills are being introduced every day to regulate the industry and provide guidance on how the state will enforce these regulations. As the Department of Health and Senior Services creates the rules and regulations that govern the licensing process and the medical marijuana program in Missouri, lawyers will be a key part of interpreting and applying the law. The last thing you want to do is spend time and money to get your dispensary started only to have it closed down due to breaking the law. A lawyer can help you to ensure you are staying within the law and keeping up with any new changes to the law that arise. With all of the legal challenges, it’s been said that a lawyer is one of the most important things you can bring to your medical marijuana business.

5. Create a quality business plan

No investor is going to take you seriously if you don’t know how you’re going to run your business. Before you get started, you’ll need to have your business plan laid out with detailed plans and ideas. If you’re unsure of how to put a business plan together, use the help of a consultant or lawyer to develop your plan. Avoid looking online for a pre-made business plan, as these may not include information that is specific to the state or to your specific business. Having a quality business plan also helps improve your chances of having your dispensary application approved by the state.

Are you interested in opening up a medical marijuana business in Missouri?

Contact Reynolds & Gold. Our legal team can provide you with the essential legal knowledge you will need to be successful.