Locally-owned cannabis company blooms in Missouri’s Bootheel

Updated: Jan. 29, 2020 at 11:41 PM CST
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CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. (KFVS) - A group of Heartland business owners in Missouri’s Bootheel are growing a new medical marijuana company from the ground up.

Josh Tomlin of Caruthersville is one of a handful of co-owners for Bootheel Cannacare LLC.

“Every single member of our team either works or has lived here for many, many years, so we have a true passion for helping and giving back to this community,” Tomlin said.

The new company was competing against hundreds of other medical marijuana hopefuls from around the state for a limited number of licenses.

After sending in their applications and months of waiting, Tomlin said they earned three of the four licenses they applied for.

One to cultivate cannabis, one to dispense the drug, and third to extract THC and manufacture other products like concentrates, edibles and vapes.

“These licenses were very hard to get. There was a lot of risk involved. A lot of money has been spent but even more there has been hard work," Tomlin said. "There were only 60 cultivation licenses in the state and only 86 manufacturing licenses. The fact the we have both of these here in this small town of Caruthersville, we are truly blessed to have an opportunity and we just can’t wait to get started.”

The new Missouri company is enlisting the help of consultants from Colorado to convert the old Walmart building in Caruthersville into a cannabis cultivation center.

Paul Wasicka with Kaya Cannabis has ten years of experience in the marijuana industry.

“Right now is kind of where the real work begins. These things don’t get built overnight," Wasicka said. "There is a steep learning curve in the industry. It takes time in order to really design these facilities and get them producing efficiently and maximally, but also just being as healthy as possible.”

Bootheel CannaCare plans to deliver their marijuana products to dispensaries including one they own in downtown New Madrid.

Tomlin expects the new businesses to boost the local economy.

“We’re looking at adding a minimum of 30 to 40 jobs here at our Caruthersville location," Tomlin said. “There is a lot of negativity in the community as far as jobs leaving, so we’re happy to be able to bring jobs back to the community for a change.”

Wasicka said the Bootheel Cannacare team is still designing the cultivation center which will eventually house 30,000 square feet of flower.

He estimates that it will take about 7 to 9 months for their operation to be fully up and running.

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