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Desmond Morris, founder and CEO of The Wholesome Bud Co., is among local hopeful medical marijuana entrepreneurs.
SBJ file photo
Desmond Morris, founder and CEO of The Wholesome Bud Co., is among local hopeful medical marijuana entrepreneurs.

97 applicants file for medical marijuana facilities in Springfield

Posted online

Last edited 12:47 p.m., Dec. 19, 2019

Several entrepreneurs are hopeful to go all in on the medical marijuana business in the Queen City, with applications submitted to the state for dispensary, cultivation and manufacturing licenses, according to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services data furnished yesterday to Springfield Business Journal.

The state received 2,163 applications for medical marijuana facilities by the end of August, resulting in application fees of over $13 million. Ninety-seven of the applications are from individuals and entities in Springfield, according to the state data.

The state will grant licenses to 24 dispensaries in each congressional district and 60 cultivators and 86 infused-product manufacturers statewide, said Lisa Cox, DHSS communications director. The state’s approval process is slated to last until the end of the year.

Bob Hosmer, Springfield planning director, said the city has received 97 zoning applications for dispensaries and cultivation and manufacturing centers. Eight applications were denied because the sites were too close to schools and day cares or they were in an incorrect zoning district, according to a memo Hosmer sent to Springfield City Council. Hosmer said 70 of the applications were for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Former NFL player Grant Wistrom is one local entrepreneur working to get in on the ground floor.

Wistrom said he’s been interested in the medical marijuana game since voters unanimously approved Amendment 2 in November 2018, and a partnership with a cultivator formed organically through a friend, he said.

“I kept trying to punch holes in it — knowing the expense that goes into this and the risk and exposure, but doors just kept opening,” Wistrom said. “It just kept proceeding forward as if it was supposed to happen.”

Wistrom, owner of Revival 98 LLC, partnered with Matt Bickel of Colorado-based Bickel Consulting, which provides cannabis businesses worldwide with solutions to increase efficiency and production. Bickel has worked with companies in multiple states, and he has over 17 years of experience as a cultivator, according to Revival 98’s website.

Bickel will act as consultant and cultivator for Revival 98. Wistrom said Bickel is currently planning on being in Springfield for a six-month term to build a cultivation team and to train a lead grower. If business takes off, Wistrom said Bickel is considering Springfield as a permanent location.

At Revival 98, Wistrom said he wants to create a vertically integrated company because of potential markup, but also to have full control over his product. Wistrom, who also co-owns CrossFit Springfield, invested roughly $200,000 so far, he said.

“We want to be able to control our product from seed to sale, and for it to be exactly what we want it to be, present it exactly how we want to present it, because I do feel that our grower is one of the best in the country,” Wistrom said. “I think it’s really important for our product to hit the market as untainted and as much in its raw state as he intended it to be.”

State application data show Revival 98’s potential dispensary, cultivation and manufacturing site is at 2860 S. Austin Ave. — the former Heart of America Beverage Co. distribution center off Kansas Expressway and Battlefield Road.

Desmond Morris, founder and CEO of The Wholesome Bud Co., also is planning to open a dispensary, at 1824 S. Glenstone Ave., and a 12,000-square-foot cultivation and manufacturing center, at 1514 S. Enterprise Ave., according to past SBJ reporting. Both locations have been approved by the city.

Morris previously told SBJ having both centers would give Wholesome Bud a leg up.

“Things are going to change almost weekly,” Morris said in July of the burgeoning industry. “Being able to have it all gives you the flexibility to adjust your business on the market factors.”

Representatives of Ozark Mountain Grow Co. LLC and Ozark Mountain Extraction Co. LLC applied for cultivation and manufacturing licenses with the state, respectively. Both LLCs are listed to have a potential location at 1867 E. Florida St. Owners of Ozark Mountain Healing LLC also applied for three dispensary locations, according to the data. Representatives did not return requests for comment.

Other applicants interested in all three sectors include a team of 1140 N. Eldon Retail LLC, 1140 N. Eldon MIP LLC and 1140 N. Eldon Cultivation LLC, as well as a team of Astro Farms Beta LLC, Beta Fusion Extracts LLC and Fallow Retail LLC. Representatives with those companies did not return requests for comment.


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