Not only does Smith believe in the use of medical marijuana for pain relief resulting from medical conditions, but he said it can be a key in combating the opioid crisis, offering a safe pain relief for those addicted to painkillers.

Despite a long process ahead and no guarantees, one lake area entrepreneur hopes to be among the first to be legally permitted to grow and dispense medical marijuana. 

Tracey Smith, a resident of Four Seasons, is looking to be among the first in the lake area to set up an operation. Smith’s family owns and operates multiple cultivation centers in other states. He said the Smith family success in the industry will be a benefit if they receive a permit from the state. 

Not only does Smith believe in the use of medical marijuana for pain relief resulting from medical conditions, but he said it can be a key in combating the opioid crisis, offering a safe pain relief for those addicted to painkillers.  

“I’d hate to get everyone worked up about this if nothing happens,” he said. Smith has already applied for a permit and has chosen a site. 

Smith said the site that has been chosen for the operation is located on 4.5 acres with a large building on the edge of the Laurie city limits on Highway 5.  

On choosing Laurie for the location, he felt it offered a lot of positives and was a good choice for any odors involved with production of cannabis. 

“The power source is outstanding and the setting is great,” he said. And, the operation should bring jobs.  

Smith’s goal is to not only sell locally but cultivate for other dispensaries.

Smith recently visited the Laurie Board of Aldermen to discuss the project. “The Board seems supportive of it,” he said. “Of course, I cannot speak for them, but they seem interested in it.”

Smith said the permitting and licensing process is lengthy and expensive. 

Smith has already put up the $10,000 non refundable application fee. He will also have to pay $25,000 annually for the license to operate. Those fees go toward administration of the new regulatory departments in the state. The state will get a big cut of profits in the venture, he said.

Voter approval of a statewide proposal to permit medical pot use has opened the door to legalized growing and dispensing operations licensed and regulated by the state. Advocates say the legalization of medical pot will not only provide options for those seeking relief from medical problems and  prescription drug addiction but will bring an infusion of economic growth to the state.  The Missouri Secretary of State’s office estimates Amendment 2, the measure passed by voters in November of last year will generate $18 million in taxes and fees annually for state operating costs. 

Voter approval of a statewide proposal to permit medical pot use has opened the door to legalized growing and dispensing operations licensed and regulated by the state. Advocates say the legalization of medical pot will not only provide options for those seeking relief from medical problems and  prescription drug addiction but will bring an infusion of economic growth to the state. 

The Missouri Secretary of State’s office estimates Amendment 2, the measure passed by voters in November of last year will generate $18 million in taxes and fees annually for state operating costs. 

Amendment 2 legalizes the cultivation of cannabis, as well as the production of marijuana and marijuana infused products to aid patients suffering from specified conditions, such as  Parkinson’s, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, epilepsy, glaucoma and cancer when prescribed by a state-licensed doctor. 

Amendment 2 will impose a 4-percent retail tax on marijuana with the revenue earmarked to be used to fund health care services for veterans.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is currently in the process of developing the rules for Missouri’s medical marijuana program. 

In January, DHSS began taking applications for cultivation, infused products manufacturing and dispensaries. 

The state estimates operations will be able to begin as early as January 2020.