Who will be Missouri's 'blind scorer' for marijuana business licenses? – Springfield News-Leader


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DHSS released the first draft of rules on how to obtain a medical marijuana ID card to possess and/or grow cannabis. Megan Bridgeman, USA TODAY Network

Story Highlights Competition for Missouri medical marijuana business licenses is tough. So businesses asked state officials to hire an independent third party to score their applications.

On Friday afternoon, state officials announced that Missouri received seven bids from companies that want to serve as third-party “blind scorers” to evaluate applications for medical marijuana dispensary, cultivation and other licenses.

A Missouri Office of Administration spokeswoman told the News-Leader on Monday that the content of the bids won’t be made public until the contract is awarded. That means it’s not clear how much the seven companies want to charge taxpayers, once one of them is chosen to provide so-called “blind scoring.”

When will that be? State officials don’t have a “definitive” date for awarding the contract.

“It will occur after a thorough evaluation of the proposals,” said Brittany Ruess with the Office of Administration, the part of state government that oversees tasks like purchasing.

But under Amendment 2, it has to happen soon.

Missouri must start taking license applications from marijuana businesses no later than Aug. 3. The Department of Health and Senior Services said it will take applications through Aug. 17. It must award licenses no later than Dec. 31, per constitutional mandate.

Regardless of which company gets the blind scorer contract, the scorer won’t have access to names and identifying details tied to would-be medical marijuana companies, according to regulations developed by the Missouri health department.

Which companies want the job?

Only two of the seven would-be blind scorers are based in Missouri.

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