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

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A commercial marijuana-grower expected to supply dispensaries in Springfield, Neosho, Cassville and elsewhere got state approval to operate this week.

On Friday, Humansville-based Flora Farms, granted a permit to cultivate marijuana along with three dispensary permits earlier this year, announced that its 55,000-square-foot growing center was approved Wednesday.

That makes Flora Farms the sixth licensed medical marijuana grower in Missouri, the company said Friday.

Mark Hendren, Flora Farms chief operating officer, thanked staff, business partners and Missouri health department officials for their help in getting the business started, in a Friday news release. Hendren added, “We’d like to take a moment to celebrate, but now the real work begins.”

Flora Farms calls its growing facility “the first operation in Missouri to be

built from the ground up for the specific purpose of growing medical cannabis.” Missouri’s growing centers are frequently repurposed buildings: For example, the 96,000-square-foot Greenlight growing facility in the Kansas City region used to be a Pepsi plant, the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, or MoCannTrade, said last week.

In Humansville, Flora Farms now has the capacity for 30,000 square feet of “flowering canopy” and expects to double that size early next year, the company said Friday.

Approved by voters in 2018, the state constitutional amendment on medical marijuana calls for a system including at least 60 licensed commercial growing centers serving a minimum of 192 medical dispensaries. The first legal dispensary sales are expected sometime this month after testing and transport licensees began to receive approval to operate from state officials in recent weeks.

A patient market continues to emerge for the handful of retail dispensaries currently approved to operate: MoCannTrade said Wednesday that state authorities had approved more than 64,000 medical card applications by patients and caregivers, with roughly 10,000 more awaiting review.

Reporter Gregory Holman has followed Missouri cannabis news since shortly before the 2018 election. Email news tips to gholman@gannett.com and consider supporting vital local journalism by subscribing. Learn more by visiting News-Leader.com/subscribe.

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