Missouri House waived records to state regulators last Tuesday to legislative oversight to access information about who owns business licenses to grow, transport, and sell medical marijuana throughout the state. I resolved to request that you do.
The legislative assembly ended just two weeks before the legislators took summer vacation, so the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) responded swiftly on Thursday by proposing a possible veto for the governor.
Rep. Peter Meredith (D-St. Louis), one of the bill’s sponsors, believes that the confidentiality of ownership records by DHSS has made it more difficult to provide oversight of medical marijuana programs. In particular, he points to a study by The Independent and The Missourian that showed that an organization was associated with five or more dispensing licenses. Under the State Constitution, no entity is prohibited from taking common control, ownership, or control of more than five dispensing licenses.
Another legislator who sponsors the bill, Senator Eric Burrison (R-Battlefield), agreed with Meredith and said the amendment to medical marijuana was a “great idea.” I think it’s wonderful. ”
Nonetheless, he, along with members of the Council Committee, concluded that opposition from the DHSS could fill the entire bill with the addition of provisions as an amendment to the existing bill on nonprofits.
“The department came to me, and they said they felt this was unconstitutional.”
The 2018 Missouri voters-approved constitutional amendment to medical marijuana justifies DHSS’s retention of information from the public. Some of the amendments state that the department “maintains the confidentiality of reports or other information obtained from applicants or licensees, including individual data, information, or records relating to the licensee or its operations.” ..
The veto threat convinces lawmakers to withdraw new amendments to medical marijuana regulations
As vetoes often do, the DHSS objection has proven sufficient to upset the Missouri legislature and withdraw amendments that force disclosure of dispensing ownership. Some lawmakers expressed their continued concern. Meredith said the ministry’s decision was inaccurate, concluding that the amendment would only inform the legislative oversight committee and not the general public.
Rep. Jered Taylor, Republican County, chairman of the Government Oversight Task Force, has amended to ensure that state regulators are “in compliance with the Constitution and doing what they are doing.” He said it was important and conveyed like-minded feelings. I should be doing it. “
This is not the first time the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program, which runs through DHSS, has faced inquiries since its inception in 2018. Between a private company hired to score an application and DHSS.
DHSS also received a grand jury summons from the District Court for the Western District of the United States in November 2019. The subpoena required the department to submit records of four medical marijuana license applications.
Governor Person is also under close scrutiny of funding efforts with medical marijuana operators throughout Missouri to raise funds for the unification of his political action committee, Missouri. .. The PAC reportedly raised over $ 45,000 in large donations from fundraising activities.
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