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Medical marijuana fees generate $3 million for Missouri coffers

Medical marijuana fees generate $3 million for Missouri coffers

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Election 2018 Gaming the Ballot

FILE - In this May 5, 2015 photo, marijuana plants grows at a Minnesota Medical Solutions greenhouse in Otsego, Minn. States where marijuana legalization measures on the ballot in November could help the turnout for Democratic candidates even if the measures themselves fizzle. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, File)

JEFFERSON CITY • Companies trying to cash in on Missouri's medical marijuana program have sent the state $3,020,000 in application fees, the Department of Health and Senior Services said on Thursday.

So far, the state has received 418 pre-filed application forms: 128 for cultivation facility licenses, 226 for dispensary licenses, and 64 for marijuana-infused manufacturing facility licenses.

The same company can seek multiple licenses. 

The department collected more than $2 million of that $3 million total the first week it began collecting fees in January.

The DHSS has kept secret the names of the companies that have paid the application fees. The department will not accept applications until August, but entities can pre-pay the non-refundable application fee before then, and fill out the accompanying form.

The Post-Dispatch sued Gov. Mike Parson's administration last week for its refusal to release copies of the pre-filed application forms.

The department has said the text of the constitutional amendment voters approved in November legalizing medical marijuana forbids the release of applicant identities, but an attorney for the newspaper argued that the department was relying on an "overly-restrictive interpretation" of the amendment.

A hearing has yet to be scheduled in that case.

Money generated from the medical marijuana program will go to the program's administration and a new health care fund for veterans.

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