Two years after Missouri voters approved medical marijuana, the first medical marijuana dispensary in the Kansas City area, Fresh Green Dispensary, opened in Lee’s Summit at 1041 NE Sam Walton Lane on Oct. 19.

The new dispensary opened its doors with more than 100 people waiting for hours in a line that wrapped around the parking lot.

Lonnie Holt, who waited more than five hours, said it was all worth it to him. “It’s important for me to be here because I’m able to get my medicine without risking my life,” he said.

By Missouri law, dispensaries in the state will offer a selection of Misssouri-grown marijuana only, and eventually infused edibles and lab-tested manufactured THC products. So far, only a few Missouri cultivators are currently operating, meaning inventory will be limited at dispensaries statewide for at least the next few months.

Another big hang up in the process was the approval of testing facilities. Before marijuana is sold in state-licensed dispensaries, all product must go through testing facilities, to verify the amount of THC in the product. As of mid-September no testing facilities were open in the state.

“Facilities are getting up and running now, and the first testing laboratory is on track to be operational very soon,” Lyndall Fraker, director of Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), said last month.

DHS, the department in charge of overseeing medical marijuana sales in Missouri, has been criticized for the lengthy process involved in getting the state’s medical marijuana program up and operational. Missouri voters approved medical marijuana two years ago, and the state is already renewing medical marijuana cards for the first patients who got them. .

Four dispensaries in St. Louis and Ozark opened in September, but were only selling products like CBD oil, reported.

“Fresh Green looks forward to continuing to grow our inventory for patients as our industry partners are approved,” said Bianca Sullivan, dispensary owner. “It’s amazing to see this industry come to life with so much support throughout the state.”

Fresh Green is also nearing completion of its second location at 7130 Wornall Road in Kansas City.

Patients must visit a physician to be certified as having a qualifying condition in order to make a purchase at a dispensary. To receive a patient card from the state, both the patient and the physician must file paperwork with DHSS and await approval after paying a processing fee.

Approved patients have a constitutional right to purchase medical marijuana from licensed facilities and possess medical marijuana within possession limits.

Per Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution, a qualifying medical condition is:

• Cancer

• Epilepsy

• Glaucoma

• Intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment

• A chronic medical condition that causes severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome

• Debilitating psychiatric disorders, including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress order if diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist

• Human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome

• A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication that could lead to physical or psychological dependence, when a physician determines that medical use of marijuana could be effective in treating that condition and would serve as a safer alternative to the prescription medication

• A terminal illness

• In the professional judgment of a physician, any other chronic, debilitating, or other medical condition, including, but not limited to, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, and wasting syndrome.

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Jazzlyn Johnson

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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