Everyone knows the three rules of real estate: location, location, location. The same rules apply to a prospective Missouri medical marijuana business, be it a Cultivation Facility, Dispensary Facility, Marijuana-Infused Products Manufacturing Facility, Testing Facility, or Transportation Provider. Knowing where to set up shop should be the first order of business.
New Article XVI, Section 1 of the Missouri Constitution, entitled “Right to Access Medical Marijuana,” limits the ability of local governments to keep medical marijuana out of their localities, at least in theory. “No local government shall prohibit Medical Marijuana [facilities] either expressly or through the enactment of ordinances or regulations that make their operation unduly burdensome in the jurisdiction.” Mo. Const. Art. XVI § 7(11).
That being said, local governments may issue ordinances or regulations “governing the time, place, and manner of operation of such facilities in the locality.” Additionally, Cultivation Facilities, Dispensary Facilities, Marijuana-Infused Products Manufacturing Facilities, and Testing Facilities cannot be located within one thousand (1,000) feet of schools, day care centers, and churches.
For a medical marijuana entrepreneur, this means that the available locations are already restricted. Entrepreneurs and investors will have to find a retail location that does not have a single school, day care, or church within almost one-quarter of a mile.
Then add a layer of local government ordinances and regulations. Local governments may not be able to prohibit medical marijuana establishments, but they can make life difficult for them with “time, place, and manner of operation” restrictions. It will be up to a court to determine whether any restrictions are unduly burdensome, and no entrepreneur wants to start their business with a lawsuit, especially one against their regulator.
It is better to be friends with your regulator, including your local government. That’s why it is important to locate your business in a community that is friendly to medical marijuana. AEGIS Law can help identify those opportunities.
AEGIS Law is a leader in working with cannabis industry clients in other states. If you are interested in becoming part of the emerging medical marijuana industry in Missouri, contact AEGIS Law for help today.