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How to Open a Dispensary in Missouri

September 1, 2022

As of February 3, 2022, 37 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of marijuana. Missouri is deemed 33rd among these states where medical cannabis is legal, and it came into law in 2018. In addition, there is a real potential for making the recreational use of cannabis legal in the state. 

Like many states, cannabis laws and regulations are rigorous and accurate, and precise compliance is essential for those who want to join Missouri’s cannabis industry.  

Follow the tips below to ease your startup in a dispensary business in Missouri.

How To Apply For A Dispensary License In Missouri

The specific requirements to apply for a cannabis dispensary license in Missouri are that you must be a state resident for at least one year. The majority of owners of Cannabis dispensaries must be citizens of Missouri for at least one year and must not have claimed residency in any other state. In addition, dispensary applicants must have a clean criminal record to be allowed to run a dispensary in Missouri. 

The Missouri Department of Health & Human Services (DHSS) is the body that grants medical cannabis dispensary licenses and, therefore, accepts cannabis license applications.  

The application fee for a dispensary license in Missouri is non-refundable $6,000, and the annual license renewal fee is $10,000. There are some additional fees a new company has to pay to get legal status as a business entity. 

There are also specific regulations about the application process. It is a bit complicated since Missouri does not leave applications open at all times. It means if you miss the first step of licensing, you will have to reapply at least in six months. 

Be Aware Of Cannabis Zoning 

Once you decide to open a dispensary in Missouri, like other states, Missouri has available zones you must account for to operate as a dispensary. Although centers like Kansas, St. Louis, and other municipalities treat medical dispensaries like pharmacies, state medical marijuana laws prohibit them from operating within 1’000 feet of public schools, churches, and other public places in Missouri. 

Marijuana dispensary zoning rules can vary based on the municipality and neighborhood of the state, and many of these area-specific regulations are still being discussed. 

More Tips About How To Open A  Dispensary In Missouri

Create a business plan

Drawing up a good business plan is an essential part of a cannabis dispensary launching in Missouri. It should outline the following points, such as:

  • Cannabis dispensary locations, including security measurements
  • Details about all entities involved in your dispensary in any form
  • Inventory management information 
  • Advertising and marketing plan
  • Information about how the business will benefit the surrounding community. 

 Ensure funding

When opening a medical cannabis dispensary, you should consider that application and license costs, along with the costs for your dispensary, inventory, essential software, tracking systems, and staffing, will require searching for funding of substantial amounts.  

Hire an experienced team 

You definitely will need a team of professionals to assist you through opening a dispensary in Missouri. To run a successful medical marijuana dispensary, you must cooperate with a group of doctors, healthcare administrators, engineers, and entrepreneurial experts. Otherwise, it will be impossible for you to manage all these duties by yourself. It does not matter whether they are part owners or members of your board; you need experts from this industry.

Gather trained legal advisers

Notwithstanding marijuana is legal in about 37 states, there are many complications you will have to overcome and comply with the law. Moreover, the regulations are updated almost daily, meaning hiring an experienced lawyer or a team of lawyers is quite crucial. A legal adviser can assist you in ensuring you’re compliant and keep up with new changes to the law. 

Take your pick of a reliable and stable POS system

Metrc is a high-quality tracking system that you may integrate into the Missouri Cannabis business in terms of compliance and efficiency. According to state law, medical cannabis dispensaries use POS software approved by DHSS (Department of Health Care Services). Our POS system is certified and state-approved, ensuring effective tracking and inventory management operations in your medical marijuana dispensary. IndicaOnline offers you oodles of benefits and supports you with a powerful asset for your dispensary, and serves as a prerequisite for fully developing and expanding your marijuana business. 

More Facts About Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in Missouri 

As of August 16, 2022, Missouri has approved and certified 197 medical cannabis dispensaries within the state – most of which are in service. These dispensaries offer qualifying patients a wide range of THC and CBD products to choose from, including edibles, flower, lotions, tinctures, etc. These productions will cure qualifying patients with many qualifying medical conditions, including anxiety, chronic pain, etc. 

In order to obtain a cannabis product as medicine from a Missouri dispensary, you will need your marijuana medical card and photo ID. After you’re checked in, a budtender will be ready to assist you in selecting your prescribed medical product/products from a variety of the product range. 


When opening and running a dispensary you may really face many intricacies and Missouri is not an exception in this regard. But our team is here to make it easy for you. With our help and support you will be able to enhance your dispensary revenues, simplify compliance and improve efficiency of your cannabis business.