ST. LOUIS — Nearly 400 license applications have been submitted for marijuana dispensaries across the St. Louis metropolitan area, according to state records released Tuesday. Those records for the first time reveal the exact addresses where marijuana businesses would operate — if the state grants them a license.
Despite the large number of applications, only about 50 such dispensaries will be licensed in the metro area.
The fierce competition is representative of statewide interest in the industry, which is expected to top $100 million in sales by 2025. Missouri has raked in more than $13 million in fees from 2,184 applications statewide to grow marijuana, make marijuana-infused products, test them, transport them and sell them.
Including growers, testing labs and other marijuana-based businesses, at least 667 applications were submitted for brick-and-mortar locations in the St. Louis area, from Elsberry to De Soto and from Washington to the city of St. Louis, according to a Post-Dispatch analysis.
State law prohibits municipalities from forbidding state-approved marijuana businesses, but allows them to set zoning laws and certain operating conditions.
But not all business applicants will win a state license.
Under the medical marijuana law passed by Missouri voters last year, the state is required by law to approve at least 10 testing facilities, 60 commercial growers,…