The rush is on statewide - and in northeast Missouri - to obtain permits for medical marijuana-related businesses, with more than $3.9 million in application fees already collected by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

And local governments across Missouri have been preparing to welcome these businesses, establishing new zoning laws that will designate where such businesses will locate.

Six individuals have filed applications with the state to open dispensaries and cultivation facilities in Kirksville and Adair County, according to DHSS records reviewed by the Kirksville Daily Express. All of those applicants have pre-filed, with the official application period running from Aug. 3-17.

Missourians last November voted by nearly a 2-to-1 margin to support Amendment 2, legalizing medical marijuana and setting up parameters for the state to license and regulate the industry. The amendment language included guidelines for DHSS to follow in establishing minimums for the number of medical marijuana-related facilities, and the state has since put numbers together.

- Dispensaries: Amendment 2 language stated no fewer than 24 medical marijuana dispensaries could be established within each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts. DHSS rules say the state will allow no more than 24 in each district, unless demand requires more licenses be issued.

- Cultivation facilities: Amendment 2 stated no fewer than one marijuana cultivation facility license per 100,000 residents could be granted. DHSS rules say the state will grant no more than 60 such licenses unless demand requires more.

- Manufacturing facilities: Amendment 2 stated no fewer than one medical marijuana manufacturing facility license per 70,000 residents could be granted. DHSS rules say the state will grant no more than 86 such licenses unless demand requires more.

DHSS rules also say the state will approve no more than 10 licenses for medical marijuana testing facilities.

Amendment 2 also established the fee schedule for applications, topping out at $10,000 for cultivation facilities. It also costs $6,000 to apply for both manufacturing facilities and dispensaries.

All application fees are non-refundable.

According to state figures as of July 2, 160 applications have been received to operate cultivation facilities and 86 applications have been received for manufacturing facilities. The state has also received more than 300 applications to operate dispensaries, including 17 across the Sixth Congressional District that contains Kirksville.

Applications to operate dispensaries in Kirksville have been filed by Craig Shorten, Shafiq Muazam, James K. Goff and Teresa Michelle Harris. Applications for cultivation facilities have been received from Johnny Lee Brown and Neta Rose Chandler.

Other applications have yet to be submitted, but groups and individuals have been lining up support. Show Me Alternatives, which DHSS do not yet show to have pre-filed an application, recently requested the City of Kirksville to prepare a letter of support for their application. The city did so, noting in the letter that Show Me Alternatives proposes to open a dispensary at 715 S. Baltimore St. and that “it is our belief that Show Me Alternatives would serve as a strong business asset in our city.”

According to records filed with the state, Show Me Alternatives filed articles of incorporation in February. It lists its organizers as Brooke Foster and Amy Thomas, both of Macon.

Kirksville already took steps earlier this year to add language to the city’s zoning laws and outline areas for medical marijuana businesses to locate. The City Council placed no required distance prohibitions between medical marijuana dispensaries and churches, schools or daycares, choosing to treat them no differently than pharmacies.

Testing, manufacturing and cultivation facilities will be able to locate in commercial or industrial zones, with a required distance of at least 300 feet from schools, churches and daycares.

There will be a 4 percent sales tax on retail purchases of medical marijuana products, which will generate an estimated $24 million annually - $18 million will go to state operating costs and Missouri veterans programs, and $6 million to local governments. Valid customers will need to have completed an application process, including certification from a licensed physician.