Only one license application with a Joplin-area address was approved Friday as the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the 86 total licenses it would approve for operations to make medical marijuana-infused products.
Harvest of Missouri LLC, 12785 E. 32nd St. in Joplin, was approved for a manufacturing license. Marijuana-infused products are products infused with marijuana or an extract thereof and are intended for use or consumption by a means other than smoking. This can include but is not limited to edible products, ointments, tinctures and concentrates, the state said.
According to the license application for Harvest of Missouri LLC, the owner or manager is Steve White, of Arizona. White is the chief executive officer of Harvest Health & Recreation, which has its headquarters in Arizona. The company anticipates having rights to operate in more cannabis facilities and with more licenses than any other company in the U.S., including more than 210 facilities across 18 states and territories, the Globe previously reported.
License applications that were rejected were from:
• Gamma Fusion Extracts LLC, Highway 171 and Fir Road, Joplin.
• MO Manufactured Products LLC, 1201 E. 12th St., Lamar.
• Missouri Made Marijuana LLC, 7110 W. 20th St., Joplin.
• Joplin ERBA Manufacturing LLC, 2237 Outer Road, Joplin.
• JD Manufacturing Corp., 18707 Highway 60, Aurora.
• Sarcoxie Nursery Infusions LLC, 685 Highway 37, Sarcoxie.
• RSM-3 LLC, 11507 Sorrell Road, Neosho.
• Ozark Leaf Farms LLC, 3100 S. Elliott Ave., Aurora.
• Horizon Growth LLC, 6301 Highway 37, Pierce City.
• Choice Extracts LLC, 204 N. Bridle Lane, Monett.
• The Green Culture LLC, 13011 Highway 96, Carthage.
Sarcoxie Nursery response
Among the license applications that were rejected was one from retired cardiologist Paul Callicoat, owner of Sarcoxie Nursery. Callicoat and his wife and son had already begun work to convert the 70-acre site into a cultivation and manufacturing operation.
Callicoat sued the state last month after his application for a cultivation license was denied, arguing that the state's decision to award only 60 cultivation licenses violates the right-to-farm amendment to the Missouri Constitution, which was approved by voters in 2014.
The lawsuit also challenges the scoring system used to determine which licenses to approve, claiming that the state went beyond its authority by setting up a scoring system that awarded "bonus" points to applications located in an "economically distressed area," identified by specific ZIP codes, and requiring information that the lawsuit alleges is out of date.
The state's attorney has argued that the approval of licenses followed the law’s minimum requirements and that the regulations of the medical marijuana industry are meant to protect the public, not licensees.
Callicoat said in a statement Friday that his family will proceed with the litigation in light of the second license denial.
"We are disappointed that our application for a medical marijuana manufacturing license was denied, but it is consistent with the flawed scoring process that has been brought into question not only by us but by others as well," he said. "... We remain dedicated to serving the needs of patients and to establishing a fair, safe and transparent process as promised to voters under Amendment 2."
Amendment 2, of which Callicoat was a significant proponent, was approved by Missouri voters in 2018 to legalize medical marijuana.
In addition to manufacturing, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has already awarded licenses for the testing, transporting and cultivation of medical marijuana. The final batch of licenses, for operating dispensary locations, is expected to be announced on Jan. 24. A total of 192 dispensary licenses will be awarded.