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Transportation license awarded to medical marijuana group

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In its second round of medical marijuana facility license announcements, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services gave a Greene County company the green light to transport cannabis throughout the state.

Kevin Ellison, co-owner of CST Transportation LLC, said he was awarded a license by the state yesterday for his medical marijuana transportation business in Walnut Grove.

Under Missouri’s new medical marijuana program, transportation companies will work with cultivators, infused-product manufacturers and dispensaries to deliver the product between facilities. This also includes home delivery orders for dispensaries, Ellison said.

“We’re trying to keep cannabis out of the black market by protecting it in between facilities,” he said.

CST Transportation will be housed at a 1,600 square-foot building in Walnut Grove, but Ellison said the ownership group plans to build additional, larger warehouse facilities in Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City beginning in April to expand services. He said the facilities likely would be around 20,000 square feet to house all of the company’s vehicles, noting total project costs have not yet been determined.

The company’s fleet will call for a $70,000 investment per car, Ellison said, to install the state-required cameras, GPS systems, and lockboxes for the product and payments. The number of vehicles hasn’t yet been finalized, he said.

With a license secured, Ellison said he’s keeping an eye on the announcements made through Jan. 31 to line up potential clients.

CST Transportation was the only group to apply for a transportation license in the Springfield area. Statewide, 21 applications were awarded. DHSS spokeswoman Lisa Cox said there is no limit to the number of transportation licenses that will be awarded.

The transportation venture is an arm of Ellison’s CST Solutions Group, which currently provides security and technology solutions to cannabis-related businesses in Missouri. CST Solutions worked with medical marijuana entrepreneurs in the state on their facility applications and security plans, Ellison said, declining to disclose names.

The state Health Department will continue dishing out nearly 350 licenses for medical marijuana facility bids through Jan. 31. The next announcement is Dec. 26 for cultivation facility certifications.

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