Yesterday, in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri State Representative Cody Smith (R-Carthage) slammed the license caps in Missouri's medical marijuana program, a subject we have covered in depth here and here. According the the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage, who chairs the House Budget Committee, suggested it might be cheaper to award more licenses in order to bring an end to the legal appeals. Smith said there were “serious unintended consequences” to the decision to limit licenses that have resulted in “staggering legal fees.” He also said the slow rollout of the program has sent people to purchase cheaper pot on the street, rather than at a more expensive licensed dispensary. “I think the unmet demand is encouraging a black market in Missouri,” Smith said. “If there were more facilities on board, prices would go down.”
Rep. Smith has been more than a passive voice in support of this issue -- in 2018, he was a cosponsor of a medical marijuana bill sponsored by Rep. Dr. Jim Neely (R-Cameron), which was approved on a 112-44 vote in the Missouri House of Representatives, but blocked in the Missouri Senate by former State Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City). Rep. Dr. Neely's proposal explicitly rejected license caps and would have allowed any investigational drug manufacturer in the state of Missouri to produce cannabis products for medical patients.
This year, we've covered Rep. Shamed Dogan's (R-Ballwin) House Joint Resolution 30, which would remove license caps in Missouri's medical marijuana program, remove the unnecessary marijuana regulation Missouri's Constitution, and legalize marijuana completely. We hope Rep. Smith and other members of the Missouri House act soon to advance this proposal.