KCMO ready to do business with marijuana startups; entrepreneurs of color see ‘catalyst for empowerment’

A green rush is soaking up sunshine in Missouri, and if attitudes of state officials, businesses owners and marijuana advocates are any indication, Kansas City is fertile ground for the movement.

“We have a huge diversity of business opportunities,” said Rick Usher, KCMO assistant city manager for entrepreneurship and small business.

Rick Usher, KCMO

Rick Usher, KCMO

Usher is spearheading the city’s preparation for implementation of Amendment 2, a landmark constitutional amendment passed by Missouri voters in November 2018. The vote legalized marijuana for medical purposes, paving the way for a vanguard generation of entrepreneurs in the state hoping to capitalize on the law change.

Per the amendment, up for grabs are (at minimum) two testing facility licenses, 60 cultivation facility licenses, 86 marijuana-infused products manufacturing facility licenses, and 192 dispensary licenses (24 per congressional district). While the Missouri Department of Health and Senior

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