Legal fees continue to climb to defend Missouri’s troubled medical marijuana program | Marijuana
Proponents say it would generate even more money for the state through licensing fees and increased sales, while increasing competition in the current medical marijuana market.
Representative Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, said the $ 6.7 million in legal fees would have been better spent on veterans.
â€œInstead of this money going to their (veterans) support and veterans homes, it is spent on lawyers to try to prevent companies from participating in a deal,â€ he said.
For example, the state extended a contract with law firm Polsinelli until March 2022 for legal services related to medical marijuana. So far this fiscal year, the state has paid Polsinelli more than $ 500,000, according to expense records.
Merideth said that while his efforts to pressure the state to lift the House caps easily, he died when Steve Tilley, lobbyist for the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, worked to kill the plan.
â€œWhen Steve Tilley and his group are the lobbyists who want to kill this, he’s going to have a hard time getting past the Senate,â€ Merideth said.
Tilley, former president of Missouri House and a close ally of Governor Mike Parson, did not respond to a request for comment.
Although legal fees are in the millions of dollars, the fees are lower than the state’s projections earlier this year.