Divide over lack of Black ownership in Missouri marijuana bubbles up in radio debate

BY: - July 25, 2023

When it comes to racial equity, state Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove of Kansas City and St. Louis City NAACP President Adolphus Pruitt typically land on the same side. But on Amendment 3— the constitutional amendment that legalized recreational marijuana in November — they couldn’t be further apart.  On Monday morning, they both appeared on KCUR […]

Missouri official vows to conduct survey on cannabis business demographics

BY: - July 14, 2023

For the first time, a state official has publicly vowed to push for a demographics survey of cannabis business owners — addressing a key criticism of the medical marijuana program that the Black community was left out of the burgeoning billion-dollar industry. At a June 22 outreach event in St. Louis, Abigail Vivas, chief equity […]

As more states legalize pot, their uneven safety rules can pose a risk

BY: - July 10, 2023

Amid the growing acceptance and legalization of cannabis use across the country, a concerning reality has emerged: The state-by-state patchwork of safety regulations can leave marijuana consumers wandering through a haze of uncertainty, exposing them to potential risks. Under federal law, marijuana is illegal — period. So, it’s up to individual states to determine their […]

Missouri governor signs bills impacting cannabis banking, employee background checks

BY: - July 7, 2023

Missouri’s marijuana businesses will have fewer obstacles when it comes to accessing banking, but they must now get fingerprint background checks from all their new employees and contractors, under legislation that the governor signed on Thursday. Few banks nationwide serve cannabis businesses and their owners — or even their auxiliary partners  — because most want […]

Missouri holds outreach events in run up to cannabis microbusiness license lottery

BY: - June 28, 2023

Missouri’s cannabis industry is the new “gold rush,” said St. Louis couple Tiffany and Anwar Lee, and they’re considering buying a ticket for the lottery to get in. Their ticket is a $1,500 application fee for a spot in a lottery making them eligible for a limited number of cannabis microbusiness licenses, and it’s refundable […]

Missouri to be testing ground on plain packaging for cannabis products

BY: - June 22, 2023

For decades, there’s been a global movement urging “plain packaging” on tobacco products — or packaging with limited colors and frills — after numerous studies found it makes cigarettes less appealing to young people.  Missouri will soon be a testing ground to see if plain packaging has the same impact for recreational marijuana. When voters […]

Missouri ‘micro’ cannabis license rules limit review of jail data to 20 years

BY: - June 19, 2023

In St. Louis in the 1980s, if you got caught with even a “butt of a joint,” you were going to do jail time, said Bob Ramsey, who was assistant public defender at the time.   Ramsey particularly remembers the head of the prosecutor’s marijuana task force, under then-Circuit Attorney George Peach.  “She was just absolutely […]

Legal marijuana puts drug-sniffing police dogs out of work in Missouri

BY: - June 14, 2023

Now that cannabis is legal in Missouri, drug-sniffing police dogs face early retirement if they are attracted to the smell of marijuana. Because some police dogs are sensitive to the odor of pot, they can compromise an investigation and prevent a successful drug prosecution. If a dog is trained to detect marijuana as well as […]

Where does the revenue from Missouri marijuana sales and license fees go?

BY: - May 31, 2023

Since Missouri’s marijuana sales began in 2019, the state has collected nearly $100 million in revenue from taxes and program fees, according to state authorities.  Etched in the state’s constitution is a road map for where the revenue can go.  The first stop is operational costs. By law, any expense it takes to run both […]

New rules stir fear Black Missourians will once again lose out in marijuana licensing

BY: - May 30, 2023

When a marijuana legalization amendment was being criticized last year over concerns it would calcify the lack of Black participation in the burgeoning industry, Adolphus Pruitt was one of its most vociferous defenders. Pruitt, the president of the St. Louis City NAACP, and other local NAACP leaders insisted the constitutional amendment establish a “microbusiness license” […]

Appeals court says government-funded nonprofit not subject to Missouri Sunshine Law

BY: - May 29, 2023

At a 2014 gathering of licensed drug counselors at the Tan-Tar-A resort in Osage Beach, Chuck Daugherty delivered a warning.  Marijuana legalization activists in Missouri, he said, were using tactics akin to 1960s radicals to advance their cause.  Daugherty is executive director of ACT Missouri, a nonprofit established in 1991 to promote drug and alcohol awareness. […]

Workers picket Columbia dispensary in push to unionize Missouri marijuana workers

BY: and - May 17, 2023

A few days before the unofficial marijuana holiday of April 20, as retailers prepared for the biggest sales day since legalization, Austin Monroe says he was fired by Shangri La South dispensary in Columbia. Monroe is one of 16 employees of the cannabis dispensary who signed an organizing petition seeking union representation by Local 655 […]