New cannabis director named in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY — One cannabis director is out, and another is in at the Department of Health and Senior Services.

The department announced Friday that Amy Moore will lead the Division of Cannabis Regulation as its director, replacing Lyndall Fraker, who retired at the end of January. A former state representative from Marshfield, Fraker was tapped by Gov. Mike Parson to run the medical marijuana program in 2018, shortly after voters approved the program.

Moore had been the deputy director and counsel for the division. She and Fraker withstood early criticism of the program revolving around how the state awarded a limited number of medical marijuana business licenses.

“Amy has helped lead this to be the well-regulated and successful program that voters approved years ago,” said Paula Nickelson, acting director of the health department, “and we trust that her highly-regarded levels of leadership, wisdom and expertise will smoothly guide our department and Missourians through this next phase of program growth.”

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Following voter approval in November, recreational marijuana dispensaries began to sell to customers 21 and older last Friday.

Moore said recently the state was projecting $4 million-$5 million in recreational marijuana tax revenue for the fiscal year that ends in June, $25 million in the next fiscal year and $37 million in the following year.

The constitutional amendment requires that the revenue, after the Department of Revenue withholds up to 2% for collection costs, is to be used to regulate the program.

After that, revenue will be devoted to carrying out marijuana crime expungements required under the law and then divided equally into three pots: for substance abuse treatment programs, the state public defenders office, and to the Missouri Veterans Commission and allies.

A release said Moore had previously worked for the Public Service Commission and the Department of Social Services. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law.

“No other is more familiar with how cannabis has been and will continue to be regulated in Missouri,” Nickelson said. “Amy will continue to effectively uphold the Constitution and the will of Missouri voters.”

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