Missouri's medical marijuana industry will be highly regulated, and highly lucrative

As a newly minted medical marijuana state, Missouri is a fresh field of opportunity in a highly lucrative and competitive industry that is bound to alter the state’s business landscape.

Within six months, entrepreneurs hoping to acquire one of three licenses to grow, process and/or distribute medical marijuana will be able to apply. In the meantime, they will have to navigate a brand-new regulatory environment as they build the foundations of their future businesses.

These individuals, such as growers and dispensary owners, will likely seek the counsel of attorneys and consultants versed in medical marijuana law to help them wade through the red tape.

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Peter Andreone, a marijuana business lawyer based in Kansas City, said it is difficult to say how regulated Missouri’s medical marijuana industry will be in comparison with other states because “those regulations haven’t been created yet.”

“In the broad spectrum of things, I think (Missouri will) be in the middle of the road” compared with other states, said Andreone, owner and founder of Andreone Law and counsel with Hoban Law Group in Colorado.

Small business owners in Missouri who hope to acquire a license and start growing/dispensing medical marijuana will most likely be in fierce competition with people who are well-funded and who have backing from individuals with experience opening dispensaries and starting grow operations in other states.