Hello, MBA readers,
Missouri lawmakers are down to the final four days of their legislative session, and there’s still plenty of work to do. On Monday, the Senate passed a bill that requires a government-issued photo ID to vote. It also creates a longer window to vote absentee without an excuse, an amendment added by Democrats following a nine-hour filibuster last week. With so little time left, it still seems unlikely that legislators will reach a resolution on the legalization of marijuana. That means the question of recreational use will likely fall to voters. One marijuana legalization campaign says it submitted 385,000 signatures to the state on Sunday in support of its proposed constitutional amendment — more than double the 180,000 signatures required. If the signatures are valid, the item will appear on the November ballot. In St. Louis, Ascend Venture Capital announced a $25 million fund for startups led by founders from underrepresented groups. The firm has not raised the funding yet, but its general partner says he is confident Ascend will hit its target.
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Missouri Senate passes voter ID requirement, absentee ballot changes
With less than a week remaining in the legislative session, the Missouri House will now review the bill and either send it to the governor for approval or back to committee to find a compromise. The voter ID requirement would require a government issued photo ID to vote while increasing the time to vote absentee without an excuse. (Missouri Independent)
Freeway Park Community Garden plans makeover
After providing some residents of Northeast Kansas City with produce for 20 years, volunteers removed debris and installed new planter beds in the community garden. (Kansas City Star)
Lux Living fails to disclose SEC sanctions
The St. Louis developer has petitioned for 25 years of tax breaks, but failed to disclose the sanctions against them in a hearing for a proposed Kansas City riverfront project. (KCUR)
Bardavon Health Innovations adds two executives
The Overland Park-based health tech company has added Richard Cochran as its chief information officer and Janel Wait as its chief marketing officer. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Former Uber CEO’s firm purchases St. Louis media startup
California-based investment firm Saltwater Capital LLC — an investment holding company founded by former Uber executive Ryan Graves — acquired a majority stake of digital media firm Quillt. (St. Louis Business Journal)
Avadel Pharmaceuticals sees continued losses as drug awaits approval
The firm is preparing to launch its narcolepsy drug, but continues to face legal battles with a competitor and regulatory hurdles as the Food and Drug Administration considers its approval. It reported a net loss of $26.4 million for the first quarter of 2022, leaving investors anxious about its future. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Say that again
“We were looking for a solution, they were like ‘let’s get you in here, and you can brew your beer with us.’”
That’s Steve Albers, owner of Center Ice Brewery in St. Louis. The brewery recently partnered with Ste. Genevieve-based Charleville Brewery & Winery after Albers had to close his Midtown taproom when its lease expired, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The owners of Charleville Brewery & Winery, who are longtime friends of Albers, came to his rescue. Center Ice will brew its beers at Charleville’s facilities until Albers secures a new location, which Albers plans to purchase to avoid a lease issue again.
That’s how many signatures the Missouri campaign to legalize recreational marijuana says it submitted, the Missouri Independent reports. Initiatives must receive 180,000 signatures from six of the eight congressional districts in Missouri to make the ballot. The initiative allows medical marijuana businesses in the state to sell non-medical product and also allocates an additional 144 licenses. Along with regular sales tax, a 6% tax would be added to all marijuana sales, and the revenue would be split among veterans’ organizations, drug treatment organizations and the public defense system. The initiatives would appear on the Nov. 8 ballot, and if passed, they would take effect in 2024.
Thrilled to share some big news at Ascend Venture Capital: We’ve launched an Opportunity Fund to double down on our #underrepresented #founders, and we just brought on rainmaker @yinka_faleti, to lead our efforts! pic.twitter.com/7diu05xJ9A
— Ascend Venture Capital (@ascendstl) May 4, 2022
St. Louis-based Ascend Venture Capital announced a $25 million fund last week for startups led by underrepresented founders, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The firm has yet to raise the money but expects to hit its goal, general partner Dan Connor said. Seven of the 18 companies in its portfolio are led by underrepresented founders, according to Connor, and its team expects the majority of the funding to go to those companies. Ascend hired Yinka Felati, the former executive director of nonprofit Forward Through Ferguson, to lead the fund.
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Warehouse Pricing Index
Riverside’s WarehouseQuote launched a pricing index for clients looking to get a better understanding of the warehousing market, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The index includes factors such as demand, labor, capacity and regional pricing in its evaluation of the market. Chief Marketing Officer Jordan Brunk envisions the index as a forecasting tool rather than a way of analyzing past metrics. The hope is that a predictive index could help clients be more efficient and implement better planning into their operations as they face rising costs in the market.
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