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With recreational marijuana now legalized in Missouri, Mark Hendren and the team at Flora Farms LLC are preparing for substantial growth in 2023 and beyond.
Recreational is projected to be a boon for sales at Flora Farms, which is a vertically integrated player in the state’s medical marijuana market, meaning the company has licenses for cultivation and manufacturing facilities, as well as dispensaries.
Based on comparing Arizona and Missouri – Hendren says population sizes and licensing methods are similar – he’s expecting sales growth of 2.5 times at Flora Farms as recreational joins medical in the Show-Me State marijuana mix. Revenue for 2022 is projected at around $35 million, Hendren says.
“The proof will be in the pudding when the sales actually start taking place,” says Hendren, president of Flora Farms, noting recreational sales are expected to start in February 2023 at Missouri dispensaries.
Part of the company’s preparations is expanding its cultivation facility in Humansville.
Flora Farms is adding an 80,000-square-foot facility to the company’s 120,000 square feet under roof in Humansville among two buildings.
“When we see what that sustained demand looks like, then we hope to erect that building and to get it up and running in the spring,” he says.
Also on the horizon for Flora Farms is a retail expansion.
“We’ve entered into agreements to expand our retail footprint from three to five,” Hendren says.
That means additional jobs, as well.
Each of the company’s three dispensaries in Springfield, Humansville and Neosho employs between eight and 12 people. Those counts are likely to expand next year to 15-20 workers in each.
Marijuana is still a burgeoning industry, Hendren says, as medical was approved by voters in 2018, leading to roughly 53% of voters approving recreational in 2022.
He describes the industry as exciting but challenging.
“Exciting is a good word for it. Sometimes, terrifying is a good word for it, as well,” he says.
Coming from an auto sales background, Hendren says he’s accustomed to many years of historical data and trends to draw on. Not so for the marijuana industry.
“We didn’t have any of that coming into this,” Hendren says. “We have made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot through trial and error. Flora Farms just celebrated its two-year anniversary (in November 2022), but now we’re changing all over again moving into the adult-use market.
“We’re setting the curve as we go along.”
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