© 2024 University of Missouri - KBIA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State issues first round of cannabis microbusiness licenses

A large patch of marijuana plants sit under bright lamps
Oregon Department of Agriculture
The state issued 48 cannabis microbusiness licenses on Monday.

The Division of Cannabis Regulation issued the first round of cannabis microbusiness licenses following a random lottery drawing.

A cannabis microbusiness refers to a small business marijuana facility, and the 48 approved license winners represent two dispensaries and six wholesale facilities per congressional district.

The program, which is outlined in the amendment that legalized marijuana last year, aims to grant licenses to individuals from underrepresented or marginalized backgrounds. Each applicant had to meet one of seven requirements to be awarded a license.

A wholesale facility may cultivate up to 250 flowering plants, process, manufacture and transport the product. Dispensaries are able to sell marijuana for adult-use and medical purposes. Both facilities are only allowed to do business with other microbusinesses and create prerolls, cannabis that is packaged into rolling paper.

Throughout the application process, Abigail Vivas, chief equity officer of the Division of Cannabis, said there wasn’t anything too surprising.

“We learned that we were really well prepared to review these applications but there is also room for improvement. We’re looking at how we can be better and more efficient,” Vivas said.

One winner, Sam Vosburg said he was “stoked” and “did somersaults” when he found out he was appointed a microbusiness wholesale license in southwest Missouri.

The retired veteran and three-time cancer survivor said he and his wife started growing marijuana three years ago on his property after a surgery to help his eye cancer.

“The only thing that was helping with the pain was the cannabis because I'm allergic to opioids,” Vosburg said.

Vosburg said he has cannabis consultants from California and Oklahoma coming soon to help expand his hobby into a wholesale business. He plans to grow the 250 plants outside in the summer, and inside his 4,000 square foot barn in Aurora during the winter.

“We're in it to help the community. We got into this whole thing because of the medical stuff, but the benefits were huge. That's the reason we were pursuing it (the license) and we got pretty good at it,” Vosburg said.

The next step is for the license winners to accept their license by Wednesday night, Vivas said.

They then enter the application review stage, where a team of business specialists will go further into verifying the information that the applicants provided. Vivas will serve as the final round of verification and guarantee those awarded a license have truly met the eligibility requirements.

By the end of the year, Vivas said the Division of Cannabis Regulation plans to host a welcome event where those with a microbusiness license can meet one another and network.

“Since microbusinesses can only do business with one another, it's really important that they meet each other,” Vivas said. “Having that network of people that they can rely on, and have a colleague and learn from one another is really valuable.”

This is the first of three cannabis microbusiness license lottery drawings. The other rounds will be held in 2024 and 2025. Those who did not receive licenses this year can re-apply during following rounds.

Missouri Business Alert keeps business decision makers and entrepreneurs informed about the stories important to them, from corporate boardrooms to the state Capitol.
Related Content