The reality,

"The state expects to start licensing businesses in December. Applicants need hundreds of thousands in cash and must describe details of their business plans, including odor control, security and economic impact. Companies have retained lobbyists as the application process intensifies

The state has said it will use a blind scoring process to assess the applications. But because of the competition associated with the burgeoning industry, lawsuits could follow if the state rejects licenses. Some applicants have concerns the licensing won’t be equitable — women and minority business owners, for example, have said they’re concerned that Missouri’s marijuana industry will be disproportionately white and male as it has been nationwide.

Locals have expressed concerns that marijuana industry insiders from other states could cut locals out of a large share of the market, despite state law requiring that at least half of any state-approved marijuana business be owned by Missouri residents.

A first look at the records released Tuesday show applicants want to open 175 businesses across the St. Louis metro area.

Two groups among the applicants vying for the highest numbers of licenses already grow a form of the cannabis plant: hemp, marijuana’s botanical cousin. Noah’s Arc Foundation and Beleaf Medical are the only two companies licensed by Missouri to grow the plant for production of CBD, a non-high-inducing ingredient that is marketed as a medical treatment.

Each group applied for 11 licenses at their locations in Chesterfield and Earth City. Both grow the plant in large, high-tech greenhouses — the type of facilities that most commercial marijuana growers prefer, and that can cost more than $1 million to build.

There aren’t only locals applying to open marijuana businesses in Missouri — there are at least nine representatives of businesses from outside of the state listed in the records. The groups from outside Missouri applying for licensed marijuana operations come from Kansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Arizona and Tennessee. Altogether, they’re applying for at least 25 licenses to grow or sell marijuana. One of them, Curaleaf, a Massachusetts-based giant in the industry, wants to open up shop in eight locations across Missouri.

A local group, MoFarma 21, also wants to open eight locations around Kansas City — and it’s run by a doctor: Paul Callicoat, a retired cardiologist in Seneca. "

Very few negros

Who is applying to sell marijuana? Missouri releases names of hopefuls after Post-Dispatch wins lawsuit

Missouri will no longer keep secret the names of those who want to sell marijuana after a Cole County judge sided with the newspaper in a lawsuit challenging the state’s