Three apply for marijuana cultivation, product manufacture licenses in county

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 9/30/19

MARIES COUNTY — M aries County Presiding Commissioner Victor Stratman said he was looking at a website and there are three locations in Maries County that are listed on applications for medical …

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Three apply for marijuana cultivation, product manufacture licenses in county

Posted

MARIES COUNTY — M aries County Presiding Commissioner Victor Stratman said he was looking at a website and there are three locations in Maries County that are listed on applications for medical marijuana facility licenses.

The deadline for the applications was in August and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services received 2,163 applications and $13 million in application fees. The state plans to award 348 licenses, which will be 192 for dispensaries, 60 for cultivation facilities , 86 for manufacturing facilities, and 10 for testing labs. The state is scheduled to announce which companies get the licenses by Dec. 31, 2019. Most of the applicants will be disappointed. Amendment 2 was approved by voters in November 2018 and it allows for the state to award 24 dispensary licenses in each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

Commissioner Stratman said many of the licenses are for facilities in the urban areas of the state. However, three companies are interested in building facilities in Maries County.

The City of Vienna has a company interested in leasing or buying the Thomas Coffey Industrial Development Park located along Highway V. Hippos, LLC is the company and it submitted three applications for cultivation and six applications for infused product manufacture, all at the Highway V site in Vienna.

Other companies applying for applications in Maries County are Fruition Farms of 21164 Highway 28, Dixon, which applied for licenses for cultivation and infused product manufacture, and Tranquil Acres, Inc. in the Belle area, which applied for two cultivation licenses and one application for infused product manufacture.

The new law also allows one license for marijuana-infused proxies, such as candles or brownies, per 70,000 residents, and one cultivation license per 100,000 residents. 

DFS

County Clerk Rhonda Rodgers said she received a call from a man asking about possible space in the courthouse that could be used a couple of days each week to serve people who need the services of the Division of Family Services (DFS). Currently DFS has an office in Vienna and the man told Rodgers they are looking at closing it. The commissioners discussed it and there really is not any office space available that is not used by someone else at least part of the time. They mentioned the judge’s room in the courtroom upstairs. Western District Commissioner Ed Fagre said DFS is supposed to have an office in each county to serve its clients and in Jefferson City they talk about cutting taxes but then they push their responsibilities down to the county level.

MRPC membership

The commissioners agreed to the basic membership for MRPC. The cost of this is $3,550 and Stratman said it is based on the county’s population at a rate of 51.5 cents per person. Along with the membership for MRPC, the county will receive 18 grant writing hours. MRPC is a council of local governments serving an eight county region with 36 member cities. The counties include Maries, Osage, Gasconade, Pulaski, Phelps, Cent, Crawford and Washington.

Server Room

Shane Sweno, the county’s IT coordinator, was at the county commission meeting briefly. He and Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Scott John were scheduled to meet with the commissioners but Lt. John was responding to an emergency. They were scheduled to discuss locating new servers in the server room that has been established in the sheriff’s office in the basement of the courthouse. Sweno wants all of the servers located there for security reasons and there has been some push back about the move. A plan to move forward was discussed. The commissioners have provided funding for the transition, including buying an air conditioner to keep the room cool. The server room located off of the dispatch area may not be the best location because of sensitive/privileged information displayed on the MULES screen. Sweno said he thought that according to MULES rules, elected county officials are allowed to have access to the server room. The commissioners want to hear what Lt. John has to say about it before they go forward. Fagre said they need to go with what the sheriff is comfortable with.

MCR 522

On Monday Edna Smith had requested being on the agenda to speak to the commissioners and she was given the floor by Commissioner Stratman. She asked some general questions about the miles of roads in the road districts and if the road workers follow a plan for clearing the roads. Eastern District Commissioner Doug Drewel said the number of road miles they are able to brush cut depends on a lot of things such as the budget and how bad a road is but they can’t afford to do them all.

Smith said on July 12 one of Drewel’s Road Two workers did half of the road she lives on, MCR 522, then 38 days later, on Sept. 3, the brush cutter still had not come back and had been to more than five roads since then. She wanted to know what guidelines there are on how many roads the brush cutter would do. Drewel said it depends on how bad the road is and some roads they can cut more back, and others they can’t because of fences and private property.

Smith said she has photos and it took eight days to do one road. Drewel said maybe he should hire someone to run the brush cutter faster. Smith said her concern is they were on her road, but they left and have yet to come back. Drewel said over 200 miles of roads are still waiting to be done and there are other people who are waiting as well. He told Smith he knows she’s going around taking photos of Road Two workers and that she made a finger gesture at a road worker. People have called him and tell him they’ve seen her out on the roads. Smith said they are public roads and she’s allowed to be there. About the finger gesture, she did the “shame on you” gesture because the road worker had not completed the area he said he was doing to as he skipped it. She’s been told by people at Sput’s that her road will be the last road in the county to be done because of her complaining about it.

There was some discussion about who will be running for commissioner in the next election. Smith said the curve on MCR 522 is not a problem unless you meet someone else on it because you can’t get over far enough. Fagre told her there are certain things like gravel roads that are part of living in a rural area. Stratman said they aren’t solving anything and they moved on to the next business for the commissioners.

Dividend

Rodgers said Jennifer Gerling of The Wallstreet Group contacted her saying the county will receive a $4,629.60 dividend from MEM, the worker’s compensation insurance carrier. Rodgers said Gallagher-Bassett has requested to submit a bid for the worker’s comp insurance and she would like to see a bid from them.

Potato Chips

Rodgers reported the potato chip supplier for the courthouse’s food vending machine has mistakenly shipped five extra boxes of various chips in several different sizes of bags. Rodgers said they contacted the company and were told it was a distribution mistake and the company does not want the five boxes of chips back. Most of the bags of chips are too big for the vending machine, but a few of them will work. Clerk’s Deputy Renee Kottwitz said the remaining larger bags of chips can be placed in the jail’s commissary and sold to inmates. The commissioners agreed this to do this.

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