State of Weed: Family looks to grow and sell in two states
SPENCER, Oklahoma - A family who owns a medicinal marijuana cultivation and dispensary in Oklahoma said the application process in Missouri is much more strict.
Tracey Smith bought a 40,000-foot building along with surrounding property to start the process of getting a cultivation license in Laurie, Missouri.
He bought this building and land without his application being approved to open it.
"We definitely don't want to look overconfident, but we did put our money where our mouth is," he said.
Ellie McDaniel, Smith's niece, lives in Oklahoma and runs her own medicinal marijuana cultivation and dispensary.
"I wanted to be one of those people in the industry that brought medicine to people," she said.
She put the application in for the Laurie location and Smith is the landlord of the property.
The cost to apply for a marijuana dispensary is $2,500, creating a large supply of dispensaries in Oklahoma.
"We have some of the most liberal laws when it comes to marijuana," she said of the Sooner state.
Smith said the process in Missouri is taking more time.
"I know they are very methodical in how they are going to do their stuff," Smith said, "They want you to do it the right way."
McDaniel said Missouri is putting a cap on how many applications it accepts.
The amendment says there can be no fewer than 24 licenses per U.S. Congressional District. This means Missouri will at least have 192 licenses.
This is in comparison with the more than 1,200 dispensaries in Oklahoma. This is because Oklahoma does not put a max on the amount of business licenses.
Although there are several dispensaries in Oklahoma, McDaniel said the process took a long time before getting approved.
She said it took about two weeks for the state to approve the application, but took the city of Spencer took much longer.
"We had been trying since [last] August and didn't get approved until December until we could actually start building," she said.
Since opening in December, McDaniel says her store already has 90,000 patients.
Both McDaniel and Smith are excited about the possibility of having a second family dispensary in Missouri.
"To finally be a part of history, I think it's going to do great and I think it's going to do great for those patients," he said.
Smith expects they will hear more about the application in the next couple of weeks.