Missouri will have 192 medical marijuana dispensaries by 2020, backers of Amendment 2 say – Springfield News-Leader


Marijuana will be available recreationally in Michigan and medicinally in Missouri and Utah. USA TODAY

Marijuana is displayed at a dispensary in Denver, Colorado. To ensure patient access, Missouri’s medical marijuana Amendment 2 mandates at least 192 dispensary licenses to be awarded, 24 for each of Missouri’s eight Congressional districts.(Photo: AP)

Missouri is likely to have 192 medical-marijuana dispensaries by 2020, backers of Amendment 2 said Thursday in a conference call for news outlets.

But, they said, anyone who doesn’t possess a “qualifying patient card” for medical cannabis won’t be allowed to set foot inside.

New Approach Missouri spokesman Jack Cardetti said the Show-Me State’s medical-marijuana system was modeled in part on medical marijuana laws in Colorado and Oregon, “when they just strictly had a medical-marijuana law.”

More: Missouri voters have spoken on medical marijuana. They chose Amendment 2.

“They were very effective,” he said. In both of those states, about 2 percent of residents had a qualifying patient card to access marijuana for medicinal purposes.

New Approach used that figure to calculate the number of medical marijuana licenses for patients and businesses that it believed Missouri would need.

Thus, each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts will be allowed a minimum of 24 dispensaries under Amendment 2.

“We don’t want to have patients having to drive across the state,” Cardetti said. “We want it to be close by.”

More: All about Amendment 2, the medical marijuana proposal approved in Missouri on Tuesday

Local communities may regulate dispensary locations through existing planning-and-zoning law that covers “time, place and manner,” Cardetti said.

That means municipalities or counties can’t ban dispensaries, he said.

The state will also issue at least 61 licenses to cultivate marijuana, which works

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