This map shows the origin counties for medical marijuana dispensary pre-filed applications. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced an online interactive map Monday, June 25, 2019 that shows the originating locations of pre-filed application forms for medical marijuana business licenses. It does not necessarily indicate where the businesses will be located, DHSS said. (Photo: Missouri DHSS)
On a judge’s orders, Missouri officials on Wednesday revealed the names of people and companies who want to apply for commercial licenses to sell, grow or test marijuana, or make marijuana-infused products.
The move comes after a lawsuit filed in January. On June 21, a Cole County judge ruled for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a suit against the Department of Health and Senior Services, challenging the department’s decision to keep secret the names of entities wanting to apply for the commercial marijuana licenses.
The Post-Dispatch, the News-Leader and other news organizations had asked for copies of pre-filed application forms sent in by those businesses.
State officials argued that data security provisions in Missouri Constitutional Amendment 2 applied to business license applicants, not just patients and caregivers with medical marijuana ID cards. The St. Louis newspaper, and some advocates for Amendment 2, argued otherwise.
In his June 21 ruling, the judge pushed back the effective date of the order so state officials could decide whether they wanted to appeal.
On Wednesday, Randall Williams, DHSS director, issued a statement saying DHSS would not appeal.
Jack Cardetti, spokesman for the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, issued a response to the news midday Wednesday.
“DHSS has an important job balancing the needs of patients who expect their medical data to be safeguarded as well as applicants who expect site security