A Raymondville man is among those filing paperwork to run a business in Missouri’s new medical marijuana industry.
Bobby G. Johnston Jr. seeks to operate a medical marijuana cultivation business in Houston, according to a list of those who have filed pre-licensing application fees with the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services.
Businesses will not be able to file formal applications to sell marijuana until Aug. 3, but more than 500 people statewide have already paid their application fee in advance of the application date.
Paying the fee — $6,000 for dispensary and manufacturer applications and $10,000 for cultivator applications — is the first step toward competing for a share of the lucrative medical marijuana business in Missouri, which could grow into a $480 million a year industry, according to the Missouri Cannabis Industry Association.
The state has already collected $3.9 million in application fees and is expected to begin licensing businesses by the end of the year.
Current medical marijuana rules allow licenses for 192 dispensaries, 86 infused-product facilities and 60 cultivation facilities, which would be dispersed across eight regions in the state.
The list of people and businesses who have paid the pre-filed license application fees was first obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The news organization attempted to obtain the information from the state through a public records request, and, when that failed, it filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s authority to keep the records closed.
A Cole County judge ruled in favor of the Post-Dispatch on June 21, and the department released the records to the news organization last Tuesday afternoon.