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Missouri bill calls for fingerprinting medical marijuana employees

Posted at 12:00 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 15:15:14-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A bill proposed to the Missouri House of Representatives would require all employees in the medical marijuana industry to be fingerprinted for state and federal criminal background checks.

Republican Rep. Lane Roberts introduced the bill and is sponsoring it.

Section 195.815 of the bill states the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will require "all officers, managers, contractors, employees, and other support staff of licensed or certified medical marijuana facilities," as well as the facilities' owners, to submit fingerprints to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The fingerprints would be submitted as part of a facility's application for a license or certification under the proposal. If an individual seeks to obtain an identification card authorizing them as a medical marijuana employee, their prints would be taken during that application process.

The prints would be used for state criminal background checks before being passed on to the FBI for federal criminal background checks, according to the bill.

Under the proposal, MSHP would notify DHSS of any criminal history, or lack thereof, and all records related to the criminal history would be available to DHSS.

The bill was filed as an emergency clause, citing the need to "insure the integrity of the Missouri medical marijuana industry," and "for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, peace, and safety."

The fingerprinting clause of the bill would take effect on July 1, 2020, or upon its passage and approval.

Another clause in HB 1896 calls for effectively banning medical marijuana telemedicine by requiring anyone who wants to get a medical marijuana card to physically see a physician.

The House made several adjustments to the bill on Wednesday, and it has yet to go to the Senate.