Missouri Medical Marijuana Business Ownership Info Would Be Disclosed Under House-Approved Amendment

MJ moment

The state isn’t supposed to issue more than five dispensary licenses to any entity under substantially common control, ownership or management—but an analysis found instances where a single entity was connected to more than five licenses. By Jason Hancock, Missouri Independent The Missouri House voted Tuesday afternoon to require state regulators to turn over ownership information for businesses granted medical marijuana licenses to legislative oversight committees. The amendment, which was approved 82-59, was sponsored by Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis. He said the Department of Health and Senior Service’s decision to deem ownership records confidential has caused problems in providing oversight of the program. Tuesday’s vote came a day after analysis by The Independent and the Missourian of the 192 dispensary licenses issued by the state found several instances where a single entity was connected to more than five dispensary licenses. According to the constitution, the state can’t issue more than five dispensary licenses to any entity under substantially common control, ownership or management. But because DHSS has steadfastly withheld any ownership information about license holders from public disclosure, it’s impossible to determine who owns what. The situation has bred suspicion, especially in light of more than a year of scrutiny by state lawmakers into widespread reports of irregularities in how license applications were scored and allegations of conflicts of interest within DHSS and a private company hired to score applications. “We’ve asked the department: ‘Are there any entities that have complex ownership structures so that someone that owns one license actually owns or has a controlling interest in a whole bunch of others?’” Merideth said. “The department said, ‘nope.’ We asked for records to confirm that, and the department said, ‘nope.’” He has no reason to trust the department, Merideth said, “based on how this program has been managed…

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Source : Missouri Medical Marijuana Business Ownership Info Would Be Disclosed Under House-Approved Amendment

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