Mo. — Missouri’s medical marijuana industry is starting to come into focus, as the state has awarded licenses to some businesses.
So far, we’ve learned about half of the equation here as far as businesses go, including who will transport medical cannabis from it’s growing site to the dispensaries.
When Missouri voters passed a Medical Marijuana Amendment in November of 2018, Kevin Ellison knew he would make a push to become part of the state’s industry. With a background in security and safe transportations, it was a natural fit, and his company, CST Transportation LLC, was awarded a transportation license on the 23rd.
“There’s a lot of regulations around keeping it secure, making sure that nobody hijacks the vehicle, or basically robs the vehicle while it’s in route so that the cannabis that is being transported doesn’t end up in the black market, or somewhere that it’s not supposed to be,” Ellison said.
To meet those requirements, Ellison and his company made sure to check all the boxes.
“Our main facility is in Walnut Grove, so at that facility, we have an actual 8×10 bank quality safe,” Ellison said.
That’s just in case they aren’t able to complete a delivery and need to store products. But they bought and modified vehicles specifically for transporting medical cannabis.
“There’s about $20,000 in equipment that we had to add on to the vehicle,” Ellison said.
What looks like an ordinary truck is complete with locked storage, cameras, motion detectors, and even a police quality bumper to help prevent people from getting to the product.
“If somebody pulls up in front,” Ellison said, “you just push them out of the way.”
Ellison knows there are dangers that come along with this line of work, but he feels like they are equipped to handle it.
“It’s a class C felony to have a firearm in the vehicle where the cannabis is being transported. Which means the person inside has to be unarmed. So, we’ll have another vehicle that is traveling with them that is basically their guard watching them. Outside of that, I’ve been in the security industry for a number of years so that’s part of it.”
Also today, we learned what businesses will be cultivating, or growing the marijuana that will eventually be sold.
Of the 60 cultivation licenses, a high number of them are in the Kansas City and St. Louis area, with the rest scattered around the state.
But here in Southwest Missouri area, only five were approved, the closest ones to Springfield being:
- Sunrise beach
Interesting to note that all 12 cultivation applications in Springfield were denied.
The state has a tentative schedule that they plan to release for who will be getting licenses in the last three parts of this equation.
We’ll know the infused product manufacturers on Jan. 10.
Dispensaries on Jan. 24 and seed to sale tracking on Jan. 31.