Missouri Minute: Out-of-state marijuana investors stoke concern; West Plains factory to shutter

Good morning, MBA readers,

As applicants for licenses to operate medical marijuana businesses in Missouri wait to learn their fate, some are concerned that businesses from outside the state will have outsize influence on the industry. Large out-of-state firms filed the highest number of applications for licenses to operate in Missouri’s nascent market, raising questions from some Missouri businesses with smaller ambitions. In other news, over 200 workers will be laid off over the next few months from a motor manufacturing plant in West Plains, and an activist hedge fund calling for Emerson to break up its businesses has succeeded in getting a new director on the Ferguson-based company’s board. Read on for those and the day’s other top stories.


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Boeing CEO gets vote of confidence, may forgo bonuses
New Boeing Chairman Dave Calhoun said CEO Dennis Muilenburg “has done everything right” in response to two crashes involving the company’s 737 Max planes, and that Muilenburg has offered to forgo bonuses this year. The CEO made $23.4 million, including a $13.1 million incentive bonus, last year despite a deadly crash in October 2018. (CNBC)

Downtown St. Louis tower shores up occupancy with new tenants
Broadcasting company Fox Corp. and law firm Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani will move into the One Metropolitan Square building, moving the tower from 75% occupancy to 85%. They will join, among others, anchor tenant Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, which takes up nine floors, and WeWork, which occupies two. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Workers at St. Louis apartment complex go ‘rogue,’ demand payment from T.E.H. Realty
Angry investors, contractors and employees of the 328-unit Southwest Crossing Apartments cornered out-of-town T.E.H. Realty owners on Monday demanding payment for running and repairing the complex. The company, which owns multiple large complexes in the St. Louis area, didn’t make payroll last week, and tenants are angry with management not completing repairs. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Seven Missouri facilities test positive for Legionella bacteria
Sixty-one facilities were tested for the deadly bacteria, which is found in water and causes the potentially deadly Legionnaires’ disease. St. Clair Nursing Center, Mercy Hospital St. Louis and the Marriott St. Louis West were among the facilities that tested positive. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Bankruptcy trustee sues Xceligent executives
Four of the former executives of the Blue Springs-based business were accused of attempting to profit from stolen “trade secrets, customer lists, potential customer lists, employee lists and other assets from the company.” The former CEO, along with others, was accused in Delaware bankruptcy court. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Supreme Court rejects appeal of $140M patent verdict won by Sprint
Charter Communications-owned Time Warner Cable must pay Sprint damages for infringing five patents after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Time Warner’s appeal in the case. (Reuters)

St. Louis plant to convert garbage into energy
STL Land Development, a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based New Planet Energy, will build a plant designed to turn trash into fuel for factories. New Planet’s CEO said the plant, which could cost $100 million, will be able to recover 80% of the recyclable materials it receives. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Mercy VP to lead World Medical Association
Mercy Springfield Communities executive Dr. David Barbe was named president-elect of the World Medical Association last month. The organization represents some 9 million physicians and 114 national medication association members. (Springfield Business Journal)

Missouri ag director, business reps slated for Mexico trade trip
Missouri Agriculture Director Chris Chinn was scheduled to join a U.S. trade delegation visiting Mexico from Wednesday through Friday. Representatives from Freddie Lee’s Gourmet Sauces in St. Louis and the U.S. Soybean Export Council in Chesterfield also planned to join the group. (Missourinet)

Missouri factory set to close next year, laying off 204
More than 200 people will be laid off from Regal Beloit Corp., a commercial motor manufacturing company in southern Missouri. The West Plains factory will close next May. (Missourinet)

Mizzou Arena will sell alcohol this season
Beer and wine will be available at University of Missouri basketball games. The move comes after the Southeastern Conference announced that, for the first time, schools will be able to decide for themselves whether to sell alcohol at sporting events. (Columbia Missourian)


Say that again

“There are rich men in suits coming from all over this country with bags full of cash. I’m all for competing in a fair playing field. But that’s not what appears to be happening here in Missouri.”

That’s Richard Rodriguez, a St. Louis restaurant owner who applied to open a medical marijuana dispensary, on the influx of applications from out-of-state companies, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. According to state records, out-of-state companies, including national retail marijuana chains, have submitted the highest numbers of applications to grow and sell medical marijuana in Missouri. These cash-rich firms have a significant advantage over small local businesses in obtaining licenses to deal marijuana due to the cost-intensive process, said Morgan Fox, media relations director for the National Cannabis Industry Association.


Go figure

$250 million

That’s how much St. Louis’ new soccer stadium will cost, without any tax increment financing, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Unlike other projects of similar scale, the Major League Soccer stadium will be developed and largely funded privately by its local ownership group. The team, backed by the families of Enterprise Holdings founder Jack Taylor and World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh, plans to own the facility and land. The team would also pay property taxes based on current assessed values for 25 years, pending city approval.


Hello, my name is

Mark Blinn

This former CEO of industrial pumps and valves supplier Flowerserve Corp. will serve on the board of Emerson, the Ferguson-based industrial firm announced Tuesday. According to Reuters, Blinn was a favored candidate of D.E. Shaw, the New York-based hedge fund that has been calling for a breakup of Emerson’s climate technology and automation businesses. D.E. Shaw, which owns a 1% stake in Emerson, said the breakup could unlock more than $20 billion worth of shareholder value.


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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