Missouri’s medical marijuana industry got off to a slow start this year but picked up momentum as dozens of businesses across the state began operations.
As of mid-December, the state approved 41 cultivation facilities, 179 dispensaries, 58 marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities, 19 transportation licenses and eight testing laboratories, according to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services data. A few dozen facilities are still in the process of state inspections or have filed operational deadline variance requests as the year concludes.
While Springfield’s first dispensary, Old Route 66 Wellness LLC, opened its doors in late 2020, nearly all other local companies in the industry, such as Heartland Labs, Revival 98 and Easy Mountain Cannabis Co., debuted this year.
The first year of legal sales, which started in the fall of 2020, surpassed expectations of state officials, coming in at $160.2 million by the end of October. November had the largest month-to-month increase to date, adding $26 million to the sales tally as the total is on pace to eclipse $200 million by year’s end, according to DHSS data.
The number of patients and caregivers acquiring medical marijuana cards has also risen above state projections. DHSS officials say the patient count in early December reached 153,000 – a number expected to hit 200,000 in July 2022.
Even as interest in the medicinal cannabis market rises, recreational marijuana, aka adult use, is potentially on the horizon for voters. Two groups, Legal Missouri 2022 and Fair Access Missouri, are working through the initiative petition process that could bring full cannabis legalization to election ballots as early as next year.
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