On Tuesday, cannabis industry operators gathered in Springfield for the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association’s Quarterly Meet-Up.

Just days ahead of the effective date of Amendment 3, which legalized adult use marijuana in Missouri; licensees, industry experts, and participants gathered to discuss the changing landscape of marijuana in the state.

While recreational sales at dispensaries still sit just outside of immediacy, the quarterly meeting was an opportunity for those invested in the state’s marijuana space to listen and learn and share ideas. During the panel discussion Amy Moore, Division of Cannabis Regulation Deputy Director, spoke about the process of rule promulgation and the Department’s approach to draft and emergency rules.

Two days after Amendment 3 passed with a 53% approval from Missouri voters, the Department of Health and Senior Services posted 18 documents of draft rules ranging between 1 and 14 pages. The Department opened a comment period on those rules with a closing date of November 25.

Moore spoke about the process of rule promulgation, assuring operators that their feedback is being heard regarding those first draft rules posted on November 10, and stating that the Department aims to undertake a similar process as was taken during the rule creation period of the medical marijuana program.

“For anyone who was here with us during the very beginning, I’m sure you are very aware of those many drafts of rule that came flowing out and rounds of drafts back when we were first trying to set a framework for the industry. We are going to do the same thing, we found that that was very valuable and we have done that with the rule revisions we proposed along the way.”

Moore stated that the Department will use feedback and comment from the draft rules to hone and refine the rules before they are implemented.

“I think just like last time, you’ll see where we are adjusting with the information that we receive, trying to make this the best framework we can.”

Moore stated that the Department will continue to take feedback regarding the current posted draft rules, using the comment close date as a timeline to ensure public feedback submitted before the deadline is heard.

Moore also stated that the Division of Cannabis Regulation aims to have another round of draft rules prepared and posted soon. Moore stated that the target was within a week, while noting that that timeline may be “ambitious.”

While the draft rules currently serve as an opportunity for regulators to dialogue with the public and flesh out the nuance and details of proposals, the final version of the draft rules submitted as proposed rules will be implemented as emergency rules prior to the deadline for conversion to comprehensive licenses,

“We want you to be able to begin operating right away as a comprehensive facility,” Moore said.

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