By Jeffrey L. Wax, AEGIS Law (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has released additional draft regulations. These apply to Facility Evaluation Criteria (19 CSR 30-95.020(4)) and Testing Facilities (19 CSR 30-95.070). They can be downloaded at: https://health.mo.gov/safety/medical-marijuana/draft-rules.php (last checked April 2, 2019).
The Facility Evaluation Criteria are critical for anyone interested in getting into the medical marijuana industry. They describe how the application process and scoring system will work. Here are some highlight
- There will be ten (10) evaluation criteria. Successful applicants should be mindful of them and address them all in their applications. The criteria are:
- “The character, veracity, background, qualifications, and relevant experience of principal officers or managers”;
- The applicant’s business plan. For cultivation facilities and dispensaries, it must include “the ability to maintain an adequate supply of medical marijuana, plans to ensure safety and security of qualifying patients and the community, procedures to be used to prevent diversion, and any plan for making medical marijuana available to low-income qualifying patients”;
- “Site security”;
- “Experience in a legal cannabis market”;
- For testing facility applicants, “the experience of the facility’s personnel with the health care industry and with testing marijuana, food, or drugs for toxins and/or potency”;
- “The potential for the facility to have a positive economic impact in the site community”;
- For cultivation facility applicants, “capacity or experience with agriculture, horticulture, and health care”;
- For dispensary facility applicants, “capacity or experience with health care, the suitability of the proposed location, and its accessibility for patients”;
- For infused-produce manufacturer applicants, “capacity or experience with food and beverage manufacturing”; and
- “Maintaining competitiveness in the medical marijuana marketplace.”
- Applications will be judged anonymously. All identifying information (names, addresses, Social Security numbers, etc.) will be stripped from the application before evaluation. Applicants will need to use titles and initials in many responses to avoid identification, and they will need to submit redacted and unredacted versions of many attachments.
- For each criteria and question (or subquestion), the application answer will be given a raw score, a “weight” will be applied, and then an initial score is calculated.
- The initial score will be the final score for all facilities other than dispensaries. Dispensaries will get an adjustment based on geographic location through a multi-step calculation.
- The highest ranked facilities in each category (and, for dispensaries, congressional district) will be issued licenses.
- If there are fewer applicants than there are license available, then every applicant who meets the minimum qualifications (i.e., submits an application addressing all the basic requirements of general regulations and facility-specific regulations) will be issued a license.
The Testing Facility regulation is very specific to those facilities. There are a few generally noteworthy items, however:
- The Department intends to certify “at least two (2) testing facilities, if possible.” This suggests that not many applicants are expected; and
- Cultivators and manufacturers are encouraged to review subsection (3), which discusses how much marijuana or product is required for testing;
- Test results are required within two (2) business days;
- All failed test results must be reported to the Department in addition to the originating facility.
The draft regulations provide many other details. Interested applicants should review them thoroughly.
AEGIS Law is a leader in working with cannabis industry clients in Missouri and other states. If you are interested in becoming part of the emerging medical marijuana industry in Missouri, contact AEGIS Law for help today. Jeff can be reached at email@example.com.