How to Get a CBD License in Missouri & Start Your Business

Missouri’s CBD industry continues to evolve. Recent reports suggest lawmakers are considering regulating CBD products with delta-8 THC as products that contain psychoactive substances.[1]Missouri Independent. “Missouri lawmakers take aim at unregulated ‘delta-8 THC’ hemp products“. Accessed on May 31, 2024. This may serve as a red flag for entrepreneurs planning to invest in the Missouri CBD industry. However, most of Missouri’s CBD laws appear to favor businesses seeking to sell traditional CBD products.

Still, understanding Missouri’s CBD rules and licensing requirements is vital to ensure compliance, avoid legal issues, and protect your business. Failing to adhere to regulations can result in fines, closures, or legal consequences, which can be detrimental to your CBD business’s success and reputation.

This guide explores how to start a CBD business in Missouri, the requirements for a Missouri CBD license, and the laws and regulations surrounding the Missouri CBD industry. Read ahead to avoid any hiccups when starting your new CBD enterprise!

How to Start a CBD Business in Missouri

A CBD vial next to a marijuana leaf that can be sold with a CBD license in Missouri.

To start on the right foot, choosing a business structure for your new CBD business is critical. While partnerships, sole proprietorships, and other business structures are suitable, most Missouri CBD retailers choose Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) to protect their personal assets from potential business liabilities. This structure offers a legal separation between the owner’s finances and the business’s debts or legal issues, reducing personal financial risk. Additionally, LLCs provide flexibility in management and taxation, making them an attractive choice for CBD retailers seeking liability protection and simplified operations.

Next, you must register your business. If you choose an LLC, head to the Missouri Secretary of State website, create an account, and file your articles of organization on the online application.[2]sos.mo.gov. “Starting a Business“. Accessed on May 31, 2024. This process is seamless, and the same website provides access to other useful resources, such as a database of previously taken business names.

Now it’s time to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. An EIN is necessary to employ staff members. It also acts as a unique identifier for your business, making it easier to access loans and build business credit. At this stage of the business-building process, many entrepreneurs also open business bank accounts. This will simplify separating personal and business-related expenses.

Once you complete all the above steps, it’s time to focus on your product — CBD! Are there any specific CBD licenses and laws to understand before starting a new business? Let’s find out!

How to Get a CBD License in Missouri

Fortunately, for retail CBD businesses, there’s no need for a Missouri CBD license. As long as retailers sell legal CBD products to customers, there are no additional permits or requirements. This makes it easy for CBD business owners to enter the Missouri market and start selling to local customers.

However, the story differs for businesses growing and processing hemp. As hemp can potentially contain more THC than legally permitted in CBD products, there are much stricter regulations for procuring hemp plants in Missouri. Previously, Missouri administered its own Industrial Hemp Program for CBD growers and processors, but the state shut its program down on December 31, 2022.[3]Missouri Department of Agriculture. “Industrial Hemp Program“. Accessed on May 31, 2024. As a result, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) now manages Missouri’s CBD manufacturing, as it does for many other states.

This means if you want to grow or process hemp for CBD products in Missouri, you need to apply for a hemp license from the USDA. To apply for a license, head to the USDA Hemp eManagement Platform (HeMP).[4]USDA. “Welcome to the Hemp eManagement Platform (HeMP)“.Accessed on May 31, 2024. Here, you must sign up for an account, verify your identity online, and wait for USDA approval before starting your application. You can manage the entire application process via their online platform.

Blue judge's gavel.

CBD License Application Requirements in Missouri

Considering there is no retail Missouri CBD license, there are no application requirements if you want to sell legal CBD products to consumers. However, there is an extensive application for those seeking to develop CBD products by growing and processing hemp.

As previously mentioned, the Missouri hemp program no longer exists, so the USDA now manages the hemp application process. Below are some of the primary requirements for the USDA Hemp Program application:

  • Grower and business executive names and phone numbers
  • Grower and business executive addresses and emails
  • Criminal background checks for growers, business owners, and employees who will have contact with hemp plants. This must occur within 60 days of the application.
  • Geo-spatial locations for the areas where hemp will be grown

While the above requirements may seem extensive, it’s similar in most states. Even states with non-USDA-affiliated hemp programs often have strict background checks to ensure individuals with previous drug convictions aren’t involved with cultivating hemp plants.

Laws & Regulations for Selling CBD in Missouri

A law book revealing how to get your CBD license in Missouri.

Fortunately, there are no explicit rules for selling CBD to consumers in Missouri other than ensuring all products have 0.3% THC concentration or less. You may be wondering: Cannabis is legal in Missouri, so why are there any rules regarding THC concentration? While cannabis is legal, cannabis retailers face significant regulation and monitoring. Legal CBD products are not psychoactive, so they don’t require the same restrictions.

However, some Missouri lawmakers are attempting to ban CBD products containing delta-8 THC. Some retailers use CBD laws to sell products with delta-8 THC, which can be psychoactive. In doing so, retailers bypass the need to apply for cannabis-related licenses. This is an evolving situation, so keep tabs on any updates to ensure your business complies with Missouri law.

How to Renew Your CBD License in Missouri

Retailers don’t require a Missouri CBD license, so don’t worry about renewing permits if you sell CBD products in-store or online. However, if you are growing or processing hemp for CBD products, you must renew your license every three years. This is the requirement of the USDA. Your license expires on December 31, three years after your initial application. Fortunately, the renewal process is pretty simple. Log into the USDA Hemp eManagement Platform (HeMP) to begin renewing your CBD license. As you will already have an account, you won’t need to include any additional identity verification.

Start Selling CBD in Missouri

Starting a CBD retail business in Missouri is advantageous due to the state’s progressive CBD regulations, growing demand for CBD products, and large potential customer base. With a supportive legal environment and consumer interest in CBD, Missouri offers a favorable market for entrepreneurs in this industry. Once you open a retail CBD business in Missouri, you’ll have access to more than 4.9 million customers over 18.[5]United States Census Bureau. “QuickFacts Missouri“.Accessed on May 31, 2024.

Selling CBD online in Missouri provides customers with a broad reach and convenience, while in-person sales offer immediate product access and a personal touch. A dual approach caters to diverse consumer preferences, enhancing market penetration and customer satisfaction.

For payment processing, Missouri CBD retailers should consider high-risk merchant accounts because the CBD industry faces unique challenges, including legal uncertainties and fluctuating regulations. Traditional payment processors often avoid these businesses due to perceived risks. High-risk merchant accounts specialize in handling such industries, offering more flexible payment solutions and mitigating the risk of sudden account closures. This allows Missouri CBD retailers to safely and reliably process payments, maintain cash flow, and grow their business!

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Missouri CBD License: FAQs

Yes, CBD products are legal in Missouri if they follow the guidelines outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill. Regulations require all retail CBD products to contain 0.3% THC concentration or less. However, there are currently efforts to ban CBD products containing delta-8 THC in Missouri, so stay on top of any developments regarding new CBD regulations.

How much does a CBD license cost in Missouri?

There’s no retail Missouri CBD license, so no costs are associated with selling legal CBD products in a Missouri retail store (or online). However, for hemp producers, there are licensing requirements governed by the USDA. License and application fees vary depending on the type of license you require, so check the USDA application portal to see what costs apply to your business.

Can you sell CBD without a license in Missouri?

Yes, you can sell CBD without a license in Missouri — there’s currently no need for a retail CBD permit. However, if you want to grow or process hemp for CBD products, you will need the appropriate hemp license in Missouri.

How long is a CBD license valid in Missouri?

Missouri has no retail CBD licenses, so there’s no expiration date on your right to sell legal CBD products in a retail store or online. However, for Missouri hemp producers, licenses expire on December 31st, three years after the initial application date.[6]Cornell Law School. “7 CFR § 990.21 – USDA hemp producer license“. Accessed on May 31, 2024.

Article Sources

  1. Missouri Independent. “Missouri lawmakers take aim at unregulated ‘delta-8 THC’ hemp products“. Accessed on May 31, 2024.
  2. sos.mo.gov. “Starting a Business“. Accessed on May 31, 2024.
  3. Missouri Department of Agriculture. “Industrial Hemp Program“. Accessed on May 31, 2024.
  4. USDA. “Welcome to the Hemp eManagement Platform (HeMP)“.Accessed on May 31, 2024.
  5. United States Census Bureau. “QuickFacts Missouri“.Accessed on May 31, 2024.
  6. Cornell Law School. “7 CFR § 990.21 – USDA hemp producer license“. Accessed on May 31, 2024.

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