A trio of prime officers overseeing the fledgling medical cannabis program in Missouri have been topic to questioning by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Kansas Metropolis Star reported Wednesday that the three officers, all members of Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s administration, described the interviews, which passed off during the last a number of months, as “not investigative in nature,” however relatively “routine meet-and-greets the FBI requested to get to know the individuals accountable for the brand new — and probably profitable — business.”
Missouri voters authorised Modification 2 final November to legalize medical marijuana by an enormous 66%-34% margin, becoming a member of greater than 30 different states which have legalized the remedy. Underneath the brand new legislation, physicians can prescribe cannabis to sufferers affected by 10 totally different medical situations, which embrace most cancers, epilepsy and glaucoma, amongst different debilitating sicknesses. Missouri’s Division of Well being and Senior Companies (DHSS) started accepting purposes for such prescriptions late final month. Qualifying sufferers will obtain an identification card, which is able to allow them to buy as much as 4 ounces of marijuana per thirty days.
Though the interviews between the FBI and the Missouri officers have been routine in nature, they do underscore the distinctive standing of marijuana within the nation. Whereas cannabis stays unlawful on the federal degree, a raft of states and cities proceed to implement measures permitting for leisure or medicinal use, if not each.
Lyndall Fraker, who was appointed by Parsons to supervise this system earlier this yr, advised the Kansas Metropolis Star that it was a “a really pleasant, informal dialog” with the FBI that didn’t delve a lot into specifics.
“Simply (to) get to know one another and who they have been going to be working with probably down the highway on this new business that’s now authorized that’s been unlawful, and nonetheless a part of it’s unlawful,” Fraker stated.
Fraker was interviewed alongside Randall Williams, the director of the Missouri Division of Well being and Senior Companies, who stated that the FBI brokers advised them that medical marijuana applications “can contain giant sums of cash, and when there are giant sums of cash we have a tendency to concentrate.”
Williams added that the FBI appeared receptive to Missouri’s vetting course of, which is able to be sure that the third-party firm reviewing purposes gained’t see the names of candidates, a course of designed to stop corruption.
“I feel that gave them nice consolation, because it does us,” Williams advised the Kansas Metropolis Star. “I don’t wish to converse for them, however I feel that was reassuring.”
Pot stays unlawful in Missouri, although the state legislature authorised a invoice in 2014 to decriminalize marijuana possession. The invoice, which grew to become legislation after former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon allowed it to take impact with out his signature, eliminates the potential of incarceration for these busted with as much as 10 grams. The measure additionally relaxed penalties on the market and cultivation of marijuana.