Missouri officials sued over medical cannabis contract

A company hired to manage part of Missouri’s fledgling medical marijuana program is asking a judge to resolve what it says are conflicting messages from state officials that could affect how much money it makes on the deal.

Lakeland, Florida-based Metrc, which already manages pot programs in 11 other states, won a five-year, $5 million contract with the state earlier this year, outbidding 20 other companies seeking to oversee the licensing of companies and the tracking of cannabis from the seed stage to the sale of the finished product.

The fight to win the contract and eke out potentially added profits highlights the national interest in Missouri’s program. Companies from across the U.S. have descended on the state in hopes of winning potentially lucrative contracts and licenses to set up shop to grow, sell and test marijuana when it becomes legal next year.

Companies have hired high-powered lobbyists and started contributing money to politicians as they angle for a slice of the business.

Voters approved Amendment 2 in November, making Missouri the 33rd state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. Sales are to start….

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