KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services issued dispensary licenses to 192 applicants, rolling the state into the next phase of allowing medical marijuana facilities.
Of those, more than 30 medical marijuana dispensaries have been approved for licenses in the Kansas City, Missouri, area.
No more than 24 dispensaries could legally be licensed in each of Missouri's eight congressional districts.
Nate Ruby, with Onyx, was one of the accepted applicants. He plans to open five dispensary locations and already was accepted for cultivating the product.
"We would have been happy with one,” Ruby said, “and the fact that we got five dispensaries and a cultivation made it all just so much sweeter.”
One of his five locations will be at East 62nd Street and Troost Avenue.
"One mile east, the average income is $32,000, while 1 mile west, it's around $182,000,” Ruby said. “Wo we can kind of bridge that gap between economic disparities with what we're trying to do in our resource center at this location.”
At just 26 years old, Ruby has a lot on his plate, but he said he didn't let that stop him from pursuing his dream.
"It was a little bit like David and Goliath,” Ruby said. “I had a lot of people that kept telling me that I wouldn't be able to do it, but I have a lot of people on my side as well.”
In Blue Springs, the Kansas City Cannabis Company just leased a property in a strip mall to house another dispensary. Nolan Lawrence, chief information officer for Kansas City Cannabis Company, said they will bring in products from other providers throughout the state.
"We're going to have a huge range obviously of cannabis flour products, extracts,” Lawrence said. “We will have edibles and topicals.”
Lawrence said they will open later this year when the product is ready, and he believes there will be a surge in demand.
"Missouri is on track to have about 800 average patients per week signing up, which puts us close to 80,000 by the end of the year,” Lawrence said. “So we anticipate a pretty good volume of patients very soon.”
The Kansas City Cannabis Company will have three other locations, and has another location that was denied that they will appeal.
To be a patient, qualifying conditions must be met, some of which include cancer,a chronic medical condition, a terminal illness, epilepsy or glaucoma.
41 Action News combed through the list of approved dispensary licensees and found 39 in the Kansas City area.
Check the map below to see the locations.
Earlier in January, DHSS issued licenses for cultivation facilities and manufacturing.