Missouri lawmakers have filed 10 separate bills that address marijuana in some way since voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution in November that legalizes medical marijuana.
Two bills propose affirmative action for marijuana license applicants. Several others look to strengthen penalties for opiate use, combating some lawmaker’s beliefs that legal marijuana could lead to rises in other drug use. At least two other filed bills propose expunging marijuana convictions from criminal records.
As lawmakers begin their annual session in Jefferson City this week, the state Department of Health and Senior Services will take a step toward implementing the new amendment, as it will begin accepting application fees for dispensary, manufacturing and cultivating facilities.
Licenses for the facilities must be awarded by Dec. 31. Backers of medical marijuana in Missouri envision a system of around 200 dispensaries spread across the state.
Read more: Springfield News-Leader