ST. LOUIS ( - Missouri voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 2 in 2018 allowing medical marijuana in the state. Now cities are working to get laws in place to make it happen.

Alderman Jack Coatar filed a bill in regard to zoning medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation facilities and manufacturing facilities.

“You couldn’t have it in the middle of a residential neighborhood, but anywhere you could have a pharmacy you would be allowed to have a medical marijuana dispensary,” said Coatar.

Cultivation facilities, where marijuana will be grown and manufacturing facilities, where things like edibles can be made, will be allowed in areas where there is light industrial.

The City of St. Louis is not making a distance requirement. The state amendment allows cities to put a 1,000 ft distance between these facilities and places like churches, daycares and schools. But Coatar says because of the dense, urban environment in the city, they are not doing that.

“These are heavily regulated, there’s going to be a limited amount of them,” Coater said.

According to the amendment, there can be 24 dispensaries per congressional district. Coatar hopes all 24 in the First District are in St. Louis City.

“The estimate is these facilities will bring in about half a million dollars in taxes annually,” he explained.

As of right now, there have been 36 pre-filed applications in the St. Louis City area for opening a dispensary, statewide the number is almost at 500.

Applications will officially be accepted on August 3 and once approved, those applicants can get to work opening up their businesses.

Safety and security are a priority. There are strict requirements on the state level and additional requirements in Board Bill 2.

Dispensaries will need to have surveillance and adequate lighting, growing facilities will need to have no signage and an armed security guards on premise at all time.

The soonest we could see these dispensaries open is by the end of the year.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved

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