JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Of 26 applicants from across the region in Joplin's congressional district, seven were approved as licensed dispensaries under the terms of the state's new medical marijuana law.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services released on Friday the list of approved dispensaries for the entire state. According to the law, each of Missouri's eight congressional districts may have up to 24 licenses granted — those licenses were awarded based on how well a proposed business scored according to the state's eligibility standards.

The dispensaries awarded licenses across the region, listed according to score, include:

• Missouri Retail Products Group Inc., located at 2401 E. 32nd St. in Joplin.

• Astro Farms Gamma LLC, located at Highway 171 and Fir Road in Joplin.

• The Dispensary LLC, located at 460 State Highway 76 in Cassville.

• SMO4 Inc., located at 429 Peachtree Lane in Carthage.

• Harmony Neosho LLC, located at 890 W. Harmony St. in Neosho.

• Grassroots OpCo Mo. LLC, located at 1729 E. Seventh St. in Joplin.

• Missouri Made Marijuana LLC, located at 7110 W. 20th St. in Joplin.

Additionally, Shangri-La Nevada LLC, located at 2220 E. Austin Blvd. in Nevada, was also approved. That city is located in the 4th Congressional District. A total of 192 licenses, or 24 for each congressional district, were granted.

The approvals pave the way for those dispensaries to prepare for a commencement inspection, said Lisa Cox, a spokesperson for DHSS. Sales might begin this summer.

"(That) must be passed before operations begin," Cox said. "We anticipate those inspections will begin around mid-March and continue on throughout the year."

The dispensaries will sell medical marijuana only to approved patients who have registered with the state, according to the law. Voters approved the use of medical marijuana in November 2018, but products that are sold must be grown at approved sites and tested.

As of Tuesday, the department had issued medical marijuana ID cards to 29,457 Missouri residents and 820 to caregivers, according to information from The Associated Press.

Denials

Denials were issued to 21 other businesses across the region:

• In Joplin: QPS Missouri Holdings, West Seventh, South Rangeline, Joplin Dispensary, BSD Joplin, Vertical Green, Northern Roots, Quartered Oak Enterprise, Western Edge, RSD-1, Curaleaf Missouri, Top Shelf Botanicals, Nature's Phinest Dispensary and Evergreen Health Solutions.

• In Carthage: Old Carthage and The Green Culture.

• In Neosho: Old Neosho and Moochie Farms.

• In Nevada: Show Me Grow and Harvest and Missouri Son (both located in a different congressional district from the Joplin area).

• In Mount Vernon: Old Mount Vernon.

Among the denials were four submitted by the Callicoat family, owners of Sarcoxie Nursery, which earlier had been denied applications to be a cultivation facility and manufacturing facility for infused products. The family had already begun work to convert their 70-acre property into a cultivation site.

In a news release, the family said the denial of dispensaries in Joplin, Monett and Kansas City featured the same "flawed scoring process" that led the family to file for a restraining order against the state. The restraining order was denied on Jan. 9 by a Cole County Circuit Court judge.

"We are disappointed that all four of our dispensary applications were denied," the family said in a statement. "This remains consistent with the flawed scoring process that has been brought into question by us and others."

The family members said they plan to challenge their denial, arguing that a cap of 60 cultivation licenses violates the right-to-farm amendment to the state's constitution approved by voters in 2014.

Follow Digital Editor Joe Hadsall on Twitter at @JoeHadsall.

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Joe Hadsall is the digital editor for The Joplin Globe. He has been the editor of the former Nixa News-Enterprise and has worked for the Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine.