Obstacles possible medical marijuana businesses could face

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Potential medical marijuana patients could soon apply with the state and potential businesses are gearing up as well.

Over a year ago, medical marijuana was on the horizon for Missouri. At that time, the MOCANN Trade Association started preparing a group of professionals to be one of Missouri’s leading voices for the industry.

Executive Director Andrew Mullins said this group is comprised of physicians, regulators, lawmakers, attorneys, law enforcement, and business owners, and patients.

“The group that we were assembling was very much a credible and professional voice that could help guide both the department and people looking to participate in the industry to basically ensure the safest, most successful, and compliant program implementation in Missouri,” says Mullins.

With medical marijuana being an emerging market in Missouri, commercial insurance has become a priority of businesses.

Thursday evening, MOCANN Trade held a meeting in Springfield aimed to help those who may want to get into the industry and how they will need to navigate their banking and insurance.

Dave Lamb, of DL Insurance group, said there are many exclusions in commercial policies that are out there right now and he advises getting in with somebody that is familiar with the field.

“It’s often very difficult to get the right crop coverage, enough types of coverage. Making sure that you have product liability, that you do have professional coverage. This is a medicinal product, so you want to make sure that everybody has professional coverage as well,” says Lamb.

Lamb says the MOCann program he created can be useful for industry hopefuls with so few options to choose from in the state.

As for banking, there are banks willing to work with those in the industry.

Michelle Sullivan with Dama Financial said their company works as an agent for banks, to help banks and businesses come together and operate smoothly. They offer accounts with bank partners as well as courier services.

“We really act as the intermediary between cannabis related businesses and banks that want to get into the space, but actually protect their reputational risks,” says Sullivan.

On August 3, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will begin accepting applications for potential medical cannabis businesses.

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