Republicans and Democrats grill Missouri marijuana czar Lyndall Fraker – News-Leader

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A bipartisan panel of Missouri legislators grilled Missouri’s medical marijuana director Wednesday over perceived issues with the Show-Me State’s budding legal cannabis system.

Republicans and Democrats on the House Special Committee on Government Oversight persistently questioned Lyndall Fraker, who oversees the state’s medical marijuana program, about the licensing of medical marijuana businesses and related topics.

Committee members, who were joined for the afternoon by House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield), were curious about recent accusations of perceived conflicts of interest with the state-contracted “blind scoring” company that judged the marijuana business permit applications awarded in December and January. (There were roughly 348 winners out of 2,200 applicants.)

Business: ‘Mic drop’ as the Missouri legislature grapples with weed business licensing process

Representatives also had questions about equity for minority groups, patient access to medicinal cannabis and the potential for black-market weed to exist even after legal dispensaries are running.

The voter-approved constitutional amendment that made Missouri medical marijuana legal in late 2018 is becoming an everyday reality, but not without growing pains along the way.

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What you should know about medical marijuana in Missouri: How to get a card, what are the qualifiers and more. Wochit

‘It’s a joke’

“It’s a joke,” said one Springfield-area man when the News-Leader texted him to ask his opinion of the hearing.

Josh Loftis owns an Ozarks-based consultancy that helps lawful Missouri patients and caregivers set up their own home growing operations. He traveled to Jefferson City on Wednesday to attend the hearing in person.

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Lyndall Fraker, who runs Missouri’s medical marijuana program, testifies before a House government oversight committee Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. He testified a second time Feb. 19, 2020. (Photo: Austin

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