Nevada company scores medical marijuana license scoring job

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A company from Carson City, Nevada, will score applications for prospective Missouri medical marijuana businesses.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services awarded the one-year contract to Wise Health Solutions, LLC. The company will review and score applications for licenses to open dispensaries, cultivators, infused manufacturing and lab testing. As a blind scorer, reviewers will not be able to see the name of the company or its owners when scoring the application.

Wise Health Solutions is a joint venture between Oaksterdam University, a "cannabis college" based in Oakland, and Veracious Investigative and Compliance Solutions, a Nevada company that helps prospective marijuana businesses with regulatory compliance. Chad Westom, a former Nevada state health official who helped set up that state's medical marijuana regulations in 2013, is listed as executive lead for the project.

While the state only plans to license 348 facilities between the four different types of businesses, the company wrote that its staff is prepared to review more than 2,000 applications.

The state will pay Wise Health Solutions for each application it reviews. The company will receive $940 for each dispensary application, $948 for a manufacturing facility, $943 for a cultivation business and $1,172 for a lab testing facility. The state will also pay $22,950 for a "kick-off meeting" travel and $215 for every hour for consulting and testimony service.

Based on the state's estimated number of applications and hours of consulting, the company will make $517,319. The state will also reimburse the company for travel and lodging expenses.

Six other companies bid for the job, including ARW Equity Advisors, a company owned by Columbia School Board of Education member Dr. Della Streaty-Wilhoit. Companies from Colorado, Washington, Kansas and Ohio also applied for the job.

The state requires that Wise Health Solutions have all applications scored by Nov. 30. The health department will issue licenses to the top-scoring businesses by the end of the year.

Westom's company, Veracious, was hired by the state of Arkansas to review dispensary applications in late 2018, according to the application.

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