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Does Steve Tilley’s Proposed Marijuana Monopoly Make Missouri The New Illinois?


By Eapen Thampy

In today’s Missouri Scout, Dave Drebes discusses the prospects for Missouri Representative Dave Hinson’s HB 800 and notes:

steve tilley missouri

But this is not the entire story. It might be a conservative principle that the government should not interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, but HB 800 only advances that goal modestly, by allowing marijuana therapy for a select list of conditions (cancer, HIV/AIDs, Crohn’s, Parkinson’s, colitis, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD). In other words, the legislature is engaging in the central planning of medical marijuana therapy and getting credit as if this bill represents a minimal governmental intrusion into the practice of medicine. A truly conservative approach to this issue would simply grant doctors the ability to dispense marijuana therapy as they see fit.

But this isn’t the worst aspect of HB 800. Indeed, HB 800 establishes monopoly access to marijuana cultivation and commerce through a substantially restrictive licensing program that allows for the provision of 30 licenses for those purposes (by contrast, there are some 12,500 licenses active for on and off-premise alcohol sales in the state of Missouri).

We might look at how Illinois is dealing with medical marijuana. In Illinois, the state law allows for 60 dispensary and 21 cultivation licenses.

Last year, I worked to connect Illinois license applicants with consultants from Oregon and Colorado. We met a series of potential clients in Quincy, Illinois, at Al Capone’s old Quincy lakehouse (which is owned by Bob Lansing). Bob was an interesting guy; as I recall he used to run an Anheuser-Busch distributorship, which accounted for his fortune. Bob was also one of the most overtly racist people I’ve ever met (albeit in a jovial, nonthreatening way); he called me and other members of the diverse group of consultants every ethnic slur in the book (I had to check the Wikipedia list of ethnic slurs to keep up).

In short, he was a rich man with nothing to lose and no one to naysay him. Not that I personally care one way or the other, I don’t have an objection to people like Bob getting marijuana operation licenses (which he did). But if Missourians are going to hew to “conservative” principles in designing a medical marijuana program, we shouldn’t create monopoly structures for the industry to exist under. Indeed, the best check on rich, racist operators entering the industry is an open market where competition allows both entrepreneurs and consumers to interact freely.

HB 800 is legislation conceived under the same guiding principles as Illinois’s medical marijuana law. Indeed, it’s the creature of the lobbying effort started by the Colorado-based Realm of Caring organization, and continued by their Missouri subsidiary, Missourians for Compassionate Care (MOCC). Like Bob Lansing’s fortune, MOCC derives part of their funding from the Busch family, one of the wealthiest and most pedigreed families in the state of Missouri.

Steve Tilley and Mark Habbas may believe in the conservative principles of limited government and free markets. But when it comes to medical marijuana, they are defending crony capitalism of the worst variety: monopoly.

This is a dangerous precedent for the Missouri legislature to be setting. Creating one monopoly structure for industry in Missouri will inevitably lead to other efforts to create further monopolies in other industries.

It’s worth supporting HB 800 for the limited relief it will bring to patients, and for the fact that it lessens the criminal status of marijuana in Missouri. But the monopoly provisions in the legislation should be vigorously opposed by all who believe in the words “liberty and justice for all”.

Source: Ducks and Economics


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Johnny Green


  1. A man during world war discriminate against millinios because they where different he hurt millions and the state of Illinois and Idph discriminate against those who are free and need health care just because of their record. What makes the state and Idph different from that man its not right to deny health care to those who need to be treated equal the state needs to make changes when it comes to this matter. The state and those who invest money will not make any with this type of discrimination against humans who need health care so why does the state and Idph act in the same manner as that man in world war from Germany I taught the united states and state of Illinois and Idph where better than that serious changes need to be done now when the people ask for relief and health care but which law makers have enough to make this changes I tell you this none Who would actually care for human rights

  2. Having to hide to take my medicine all these years has given me PTSD. And this is not an April fools joke.

  3. Pots Political HEIST on

    When has our government done 1 think sensible ??? Our government will issue a license to individuals like (racist Bob) who will keep their wallets nice and fat. The local, state & federal government have career politicians. Career politicians – how does a 2 or 4 year term turn into a career ???

    Wake UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

    I Am absolute in my thinking that marijuana was made illegal by & for rich, white racist. These “CAREER POLITICIANS” are now going to make natures gift legal? Why would they EVER make marijuana legal? I think any person reading this knows America is drunk with CREED. The whole so called “war on drugs” has always been a smoke screen to put $$$$$$ in people’s pockets. Typical to form our government elected officials will do what ever Big $ tells them to do. Think I’m safe in saying any person who has been an elected official for 20-30 years doesn’t retire poor.


  4. Much as it pains me to say this: “Give them an inch and they will take a mile”.
    Surely there is a better solution. Legalize NOW!

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