Waldo dispensary opens
By Tyler Schneider
Rob and Bianca Sullivan’s fresh.green medical marijuana dispensary in Lee’s Summit was one of the first facilities statewide to officially open its doors to customers last fall on Oct. 19. The owners, both practicing trial attorneys, are will soon open a second storefront at the former Brookside Family Medicine building at 7130 Wornall Rd..
“We have had a good deal of delay from the city. I think this is probably in part because of Covid and the fact that people have been working from home, which has slowed things down,” Rob Sullivan said about Kansas City’s municipal policies for inspecting and signing off on the facility. But just recently another barrier fell when he received a letter of approval from the state.
After a delay caused by some errant municipal plumbing code, fresh.green’s Waldo location is planning an opening on March 26. Still, even after all the red tape gets cut, one more rather important factor remains a problem.
Sullivan said, “When we have a shortage of biomass [traditional cannabis flower] like we have seen, it impacts the supply of edibles, of everything else.”
While supply has been as stable as could be expected for the Lee’s Summit location, there is not yet enough product in stock to split equitably between both storefronts.
While coronavirus restrictions have allowed for a maximum of four “budtenders” to work one-to-one with four customers on the sales floor at a time, both dispensaries would have about eight to ten employees on the floor without capacity limits in place.
Meanwhile, an additional eight to ten prospective workers — some who have already completed their training — await the green light to get to work in Waldo.
As suppliers continue to experience delays in cultivating enough raw product to meet statewide demands, the true “essentialness” of dispensaries will continue to be at the mercy of current economic realities.
“Of the 60 cultivation licenses granted by the state, by my guess, there are only four that I know of that are growing or have even been approved. The supply in that way has just kept everything else in flux,” Sullivan said.
One of those cultivation facilities, owned by CEO John Mueller and his company, Greenlight, also calls south KC home. Located off 150 Highway and Prospect in what was formerly a bottling plant, Greenlight hopes to begin operating both a dispensary and a pair of 60,000-square-foot greenhouses for cultivating marijuana at this location as early as May 21.
As of the new year, this facility was on track to be the fourth such cultivation facility for harveseting in Missouri. In total, Greenlight has 16 facilities across Missouri and one dispensary based in Helena, Ark. Another location was initially slated to open at 8304 Hickman Mills Dr., but has since been relocated to 4900 E. Bannister Rd.
Mueller, a friend of the Sullivans and recently named chair of the MoCannTrade Cultivation Committee, established this promising network after selling his previous foray into the marijuana industry — Las Vegas-based Acres Cannabis — for $70 million on March 18 last year.
Another southland dispensary, ReLeaf Resources, opened up shop in Grandview in late December.