ST. LOUIS — Prospective operators of medical marijuana dispensaries have begun seeking city zoning permits even though Missouri health officials are months away from choosing which applicants will get required state operating licenses.
The city zoning office on Thursday held hearings on proposals to allow dispensaries at 3108 South Kingshighway and 2924 South Jefferson Avenue. No one showed up to oppose either.
Hearings on three other potential dispensary sites are scheduled in coming weeks, along with one on a marijuana transportation and distribution facility.
Mary Hart Burton, the city zoning administrator, said the city permit requests are likely coming in because companies think getting advance city approval for dispensary sites “might help them with their applications” to the state.
A family-owned concern called Wild Harvest Superstar wants to operate a dispensary at the 2924 Jefferson site in a building that once housed a doughnut shop.
“We live ... two blocks over, so it’s important to us that the business and the building will have a positive impact on the neighborhood,” co-owner Annie Macheca told zoning staffers.
Macheca attended the meeting with her husband, Zack McCullough, who also have an online industrial tools business.
In an interview she said her parents, who run a bed and breakfast in the city’s Clifton Heights area, also are part of the ownership team. She said this is the only medical marijuana license they’re seeking. State rules allow as many as five per operator.
The other location discussed at the Thursday hearing was a defunct used-car lot at the southeast corner of Kingshighway and Arsenal Street near Tower Grove Park sought by New Growth Horizon.
Representing that firm at the hearing was Kyle Wilson, an architect with a construction company working for New Growth Horizon.
A man accompanying Wilson didn’t speak at the hearing but said in an interview afterward that he was a partner in New Growth Horizon and that the concern was seeking more than one state license. He refused to give his name.
Hearings are scheduled for next Thursday on dispensary sites at 4948 Southwest Avenue proposed by GCC Management LLC and at 6124 Delmar Boulevard by REAL Cannabis Co. REAL Cannabis also wants to put a medical marijuana transportation and distribution facility at 4550 Gustine Avenue.
A hearing is set for Aug. 8 on a dispensary proposed for 3400 South Jefferson by Curador Holdings LLC. After the hearings, the zoning staff makes a recommendation to the city Board of Public Service, which decides whether to issue a permit.
Under medical marijuana rules approved by the Board of Aldermen last month, the permits are required only for dispensaries proposed for certaincommercial districts close to residential areas.
Those permits aren’t required for medical marijuana facilities in other parts of the city.
Under the medical marijuana law passed by Missouri voters last year, the state is required to approve at least 192 dispensary licenses across the state, 24 in each of the state’s eight U.S. House districts. The 1st District includes all of the city and part of St. Louis County.