Hundreds of applicants who were denied licenses for medical marijuana businesses in Missouri have appealed the decision, prompting state lawmakers to launch an investigation into the selection process. In recent weeks legislators in the state’s House of Representatives have been taking testimony from state regulators, with many lawmakers focusing on a private company that was hired to score cannabis license applications.
“I have concerns that there were conflicts,” Republican Rep. Jared Taylor said at a recent hearing. “I find it hard to believe that there wasn’t, or something that we would at least look into.”
Regulators implementing Missouri’s medical marijuana program, which was approved by voters in 2018, received more than 2,200 applications last year from more than 700 different entities for licenses to cultivate, process, and sell cannabis. In August, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced that it would issue a total of 348 licenses to 60 cultivators, 86 cannabis product manufacturers, and 192 dispensaries.
Since that announcement, more than 800 appeals have been filed by unsuccessful applicants. Many of the appeals express concern about the hiring of Wise Health Solutions, a company that was hired by the state to score license applications.