Missouri has begun accepting applications for its medical marijuana program as of Saturday, August 3, and the competition looks like it will be fierce.

Up to 2,000 applications are expected to vie for 348 licenses, and already over 600 applicants have paid the application fees before the applications even opened, according to the Missouri Department of Health.

The licenses are divided between different categories — 60 for cultivation facilities, 86 for processors, 192 for dispensaries and 10 for testing laboratories.

Missouri medical marijuana application fees can go up to $10,000, depending on the type of application (the cultivation facility fee is the highest), and the fees are non-refundable.

So far, the state has collected $4.2 million from the application fees, allowing it to operate the application process without dipping into tax dollars.

However, despite the high number of applicants pre-paying their fees, only 27 full applications were submitted as of Wednesday, according to St. Louis…

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