Harvest Health and Columbia Care win Missouri dispensary licenses; GTI and Cresco snubbed

Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services Releases Full List of Successful Dispensary Applicants

Missouri notified winning applicants of their dispensary license awards on 01/23

On January 23rd, the State of Missouri issued 192 dispensary licenses to aspiring applicants all throughout the state. Specifically, state regulators bequeathed awards to 24 different dispensaries for each of the state's eight congressional districts. As of the State's license application deadline back in August of 2019, 2,163 applicants had put in their bid to secure any of the 348 licenses to be awarded by Missouri.

In the previous weeks, Missouri has also issued licenses to various operators for both cultivation and product manufacturing. Of those award winners, the only publicly-traded companies to win licenses were Harvest Health & Recreation (alongside their pending acquiree Verano) and Curaleaf (alongside their pending acquiree Grassroots). Additionally, Columbia Care was awarded a product manufacturing license.

Notable Dispensary Awards and Snubs

Of these 192 dispensary licenses, notable dispensary award winners include Grassroots, who expects to be fully acquired by Curaleaf in Spring 2020.

Grassroots won 6 separate dispensary licenses, and now possess the rights to operate dispensaries situated in Ballwin, Independence, Blue Springs, Branson, Springfield, and Joplin. The company was also awarded a product manufacturing license in Clinton.

Columbia Care, who saw their applications denied for cultivation, but were awarded a product manufacturing license in Jefferson City, won a license that enables them to operate a medical dispensary in the city of Washington.

Harvest Health & Recreation was awarded three dispensary licenses in the towns of Lake St. Louis, Raymore, and West Plains. Additionally, Verano - who signed a deal to be acquired by Harvest back in April 2019 - won a license in Kansas City.

Harvest Health's full pro forma portfolio is now composed of four dispensary licenses, three product manufacturing licenses, and one cultivation facility license. Harvest has also earned the designation of being the only vertically integrated public company in the state.

Notably, Cresco Labs and Green Thumb Industries both saw all of their innumerable applications being denied across all three license categories despite generating some of the highest scores. Company representatives didn't respond to inquiry prior to publishing.

Edit: Representatives of Green Thumb Industries provided the following response on Monday evening:

"We are still digesting the results and determining next steps given it appears we received a winning score, yet we were not granted a cultivation or dispensary license."

As of early December, Missouri's medical program had enrolled approximately 22,000 patients (with 2,000 applications pending review) and was keeping pace with registering about 1,000 patients per week. The State recognizes chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, HIV, and other medical ailments as qualifying conditions. Additionally, Missouri patients are eligible to apply to the state's medical program if they have a chronic condition that is normally treated with medications that may lead to physical or psychological dependence, such as opiates.

Missouri anticipates these newly-awarded medical dispensaries to begin operations in Spring 2020.

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