Dispensary hopefuls race for licenses – Mississippi Today

Mississippi’s hopeful medical marijuana dispensary owners are in turf wars across the state as they rush to get in applications to lay their stake in the new industry. 

The Mississippi Department of Revenue has already received 111 applications for dispensaries, which it started accepting on July 1. That’s more than in any other business category and has led to $4.4 million in collected application fees. 

“The dispensary applications have created a race of who could apply faster to mark their territory,” said Ken Newburger, the director of Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association. “When you start drawing circles around Mississippi – 1,000 feet away from churches, 1,500 feet away from every other dispensary – there’s not a lot of land left.” 

Newburger was referring to the radius laws that prevent dispensaries from opening shops too close to schools, churches and competing stores. 

So far, 27 businesses – including cultivators, processors, transporters and waste management – have applied for licenses with the Mississippi Department of Health, which is handling those businesses. 

The health department has issued nine business-related licenses, giving a few companies clearance to begin growing marijuana crops. 

Mockingbird Cannabis, one of the state’s early industry leaders, was among the first to

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