Missouri’s medical marijuana program has extended the deadline for submitting medical marijuana facility applications in anticipation of a high volume of submissions near the end of the application window.

Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services said on Thursday that the deadline for medical marijuana facility applications has been extended because the program wants to be fully available to applicants for any technical issues that may arise on the last day of filing. 

The DHSS began accepting medical marijuana facility applications on Aug. 3 and will now accept applications until 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.

Initially, the deadline was set outside of normal business hours at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17; however, DHSS said during the first several days of receiving applications, many applicants found it helpful to have representatives immediately available to answer questions about how to submit applications.

“We are expecting a large volume of applications to be submitted during a short window of time,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “Hundreds of people pre-filed non-refundable fees, and we haven’t received their official applications just yet. We want to ensure all of our applicants receive excellent customer service.”

So far, 236 applications have been received through the Department’s secure, online registry for cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary and testing laboratory facilities.

“Extending our deadline will allow us to be fully available to applicants on the last filing day to address any last-minute technical questions that may arise, while remaining in full compliance with Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution as prescribed by law,” said Lyndall Fraker, director of DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation.

DHSS plans to license 60 cultivation facilities, 192 dispensaries, 86 medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities and 10 testing laboratory facilities.