Dear, DHSS, If the following questions are not removed or adapted they will violate Amendment 2 Section XIV of the Missouri Constitution, create a pay to play limited market, bait and switch skewed scoring, influence of big pharma and increased cost to owners and patients.
"The Department shall not have the authority to apply or enforce any rule or regulation that would impose an undue burden on any one or more licensees or certificate holders, any Qualifying Patients, or act to undermine the purposes of this section."
1. The DHSS took $6,000 - $10,000 per application license PRIOR to announcing the liquid asset standards and scoring table of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.
Application question 14: Provide adequate documentation of sources of capitalization to demonstrate that you have sufficient liquid capital to successfully carry out the activities described in the application...
For cultivation facility applicants - $300,000
For dispensary applicants - $150,000
For infused product manufacturing facility applicants - $150,000
For transportation applicants - $150,000
For testing applicants - $200,000
All Applicants Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory 10
UNDUE Burdens, Increased Cost to Patients, Pay to Play, Bait & Switch
"bait and switch. n. a dishonest sales practice in which a business advertises a bargain price for an item in order to draw customers into the store and then attempts to switch the customer to a more expensive product."
"Pay-to-play, sometimes pay-for-play, is a phrase used for a variety of situations in which money is exchanged for services or the privilege to engage in certain activities. The common denominator of all forms of pay-to-play is that one must pay to "get in the game", with the sports analogy frequently arising."
"Undue burden means significant difficulty or expense."
This question creates an undue on any applicant that does not have a million dollar fund of liquid assets in the bank.
For example: a US Military Veteran gives the DHSS $10,000 for cultivation, $6,000 for dispensary and $6,000 for an infused product manufacturing application fees for a vertically integrated company.
Thereafter, is informed by the DHSS that the Veteran needs to set aside $600,000 in a bank to be used for no other purpose.
If the US Military Veteran is unable to find over a half million dollars in the next 80 days, his application will be graded "UNSATISFACTORY" and likely lose $22,000 in application fees and the opportunity to prosper from the law.
This is in clear violation of the intent of the Missouri voters and will limit the marketplace to only the wealthy and exclude many that deserve the right to fail or succeed on their own merits.
2. Questions 26 - 30 create undue burdens of cost, confusion and creates a racket that is already being abused and is from a medical standpoint unnecessary. They also open the door to big pharma influence and expenses (pharmaceutical industry.)
Will anyone in ownership or management have, or are you retaining a contractor or consultant with, work experience in
community (retail) pharmacy?
pharmaceutical or other highly regulated industry.
work experience in regulatory compliance?
Didn't the pharmaceutical industry help create the opiod crisis and are not medical bills the number one cost of bankruptcies in America? 44 states that filed a lawsuit Friday against generic drug manufacturers.
After 80 years of prohibition the DHSS questionnaire opens the door to the cost and influences of the pharmaceutical industry. This was not the intent of the voter, will increase cost to operate and cost to patients, and has already created a market rife for price skewing back door deal making and breaks the doctor patient relationship.
For example: Joe and Jane Farmer want to open a cultivation and dispensary. In about 80 days not only do they have to plan a business, secure real estate, security, supplies, vendors, etc. - but now they must also find, contract (aka pay) anyone they can find as fast as they can find with work experience in big pharma. Guess what happens? Bad deals are made in hast. Who profits? The patient? The business applicants?
No. Only one industry does. The pharmaceutical industry.
Each patient has either a primary referring doctor and or a caregiver to have access to medical marijuana in Missouri. There is absolutely no logical need to employ or contract with someone in the pharmaceutical industry - patients have doctors recommendations prior to visiting any marijuana facilities.
The questions also creates potential confusion for patients and staff.
What if the pharmaceutical contractor gives different advise then the patient's doctor?
What if the pharmaceutical contractor has no experience in cannabis?
DHSS do not violate the patient doctor relationship.
Do not invite the pharmaceutical industry into Missouri's medical marijuana markets.
With respect, the DHSS has done a very good job so far. But if these questions are not addressed prior to the deadline, Amendment 2 may go down as one begun with good intent and ended with pay to play, bait and switch, and increased cost to owners and patients.
Please copy and paste this letter to: MedicalMarijuanaInfo@health.mo.gov