Category: Missouri

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Ballot InitiativesCannabis Industry NewsFrom Our WritersMissouriRecreational Marijuana News

Competing Campaigns in Missouri Seek to Add Legalization Question to 2022 Ballots

terry roston

Competing advocacy groups in Missouri are seeking to put an adult-use question to voters next year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The groups include Fair Access Missouri and Legal Missouri 2022, which was once known as New Approach Missourithe group behind the successful medical cannabis initiative in 2018.

Fair Access is comprised of cannabis proponents who are disenchanted with the medical cannabis program created by the 2018 initiative. That campaign, a constitutional amendment, required the state to issue at least 338 industry licenses. The licensing process was marred by controversies, which included an investigation into the scoring process over claims that  Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s office was able to influence how industry applications were scored and a report that was used to limit the number of licenses awarded.

Eric McSwain, the spokesman for Fair Access and chair of the Missouri Cannabis Industry Association, told the Post-Dispatch that under the current medical cannabis system, prices are too high and that his organization is pushing for an “open market” approach to broad legalization.

“We’re not big fans of the limited license scheme that’s in place. I don’t think it does justice to all those entrepreneurs in Missouri. I don’t think it does justice for all of the individuals who want to be employed in the industry, and I don’t think it’s fair to patients either, who at this point don’t have an adequate supply.” McSwain to the Post-Dispatch

The groups diverge on several issues, including micro-licenses, social equity provisions, allowing current operators the first shot at new licenses and which state agencies would regulate the new industry.

Fair Access last week filed multiple versions of its ballot question with the secretary of state’s office. Campaigns must gather enough signatures to get the issue on midterm ballots in 2022.

Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

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Cannabis Industry NewsFederal PolicyFrom Our WritersMedical Marijuana NewsMissouriTaxes

Missouri Gov. Vetoes Bill to Let Cannabis Companies Deduct Business Expenses on State Taxes

terry roston

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) on Friday vetoed a measure that would have, in part, allowed the state’s medical cannabis companies to deduct normal business expenses on their taxes, the Missouri Independent reports.

In his veto message, the governor didn’t mention the medical cannabis tax provisions, rather he said the veto was due to a section that would have provided tax relief to businesses impacted by city-wide or county-wide public health restrictions which have created “significant unintended consequences that could greatly harm localities.”

The bill, which passed the Legislature in May, would have allowed the state’s medical cannabis companies to deduct normal business expenses on state tax returns. Such deductions are not allowed on federal returns due to federal cannabis prohibition.

Andrew Mullins, executive director of MoCannTrade, told the Independent that the organization is “disappointed by the veto” but that members “remain encouraged by the overwhelming bipartisan support for a measure of basic tax fairness that received near-unanimous votes in both the state House and Senate.”

“As our state’s newest industry continues to create thousands of new jobs and generate tens of millions in new spending each month, we look forward to again passing this policy change and seeing it signed into law.”Mullins to the Independent

The law was the first in the nation to approve such reforms despite Missouri only legalizing cannabis in 2018.

Section 280E of the federal tax code does not allow “any trade or business…that consists of trafficking controlled substances” to deduct normal business expenses, whether or not their business is approved by the state.

Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

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Cannabis Industry NewsFrom Our WritersMedical Marijuana NewsMedicineMissouri

Missouri Medical Cannabis Sales Reach New Record in June

terry roston

Missouri medical cannabis sales reached a new record in June at nearly $16.4 million, according to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services data outlined by KHQA. In all, medical cannabis sales have topped $70 million in the eight months following the opening of the state’s first dispensary.

Missouri has so far licensed a total of 201 medical cannabis facilities, including 126 dispensaries, the report says. There are about 121,000 patients registered with the state.

Alan Zagier, a representative from the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, in an interview with KHQA, described the cannabis sector as “essentially Missouri’s newest twenty-first-century industry.”

“Now we’re really at the moment when rubber hits the road, and we’re really starting to see the results of all this hard work our members have put in. … The benefit extends to not just cannabis patients but also to the workforce. This is a real shot in the arm for lots of communities across the state. These are real, tangible jobs.”Zagier to KHQA

Zaiger added that the number of dispensaries in Missouri is twice that of those in Illinois, despite the latter having a population more than double his home state.

According to state data, as of April, there were also 26,610 patients licensed to cultivate their own cannabis and 2,711 caregiver cultivators, who are allowed to grow cannabis for other patients.

Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

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