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  • Christopher D.

Missouri is Prioritizing the Health, Recovery, and Legal Needs of Veterans: Here's How


Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is directing nearly $17 million in marijuana sales revenue towards programs aimed at supporting veterans' health, drug treatment, and legal aid. In this blog post, we explore the significance of this investment, its impact on veterans, and how the medical marijuana program plays a pivotal role in improving lives.


Missouri's commitment to veterans' well-being takes a significant step forward as the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) allocates approximately $13 million from the state's medical marijuana program to the Missouri Veterans Commission. This funding is earmarked to provide essential healthcare services and support to military veterans and their families. Veterans have long been at the heart of the state's efforts to utilize marijuana revenue for the greater good.


Enhancing Access to Vital Services

In addition to the support for veterans, DHSS has allocated nearly $4 million (specifically, $3,836,919) to various agencies within the state's adult-use cannabis program. These funds are distributed with a focus on specific areas that can have a positive impact on Missourians. The recipients of these funds include:

  • Missouri Veterans Commission: These funds aim to enhance health care services and provide support to military veterans and their dependent families.

  • State Public Defender’s Office: This agency receives funds for the provision of legal assistance to low-income individuals.

  • DHSS: The Department of Health and Senior Services will utilize the funds to expand access to drug treatment, overdose prevention, and recovery services.

This distribution of funds signifies a vital moment in Missouri's journey to harness the benefits of its burgeoning marijuana industry. Amy Moore, the director of DHSS's Division of Cannabis Regulation, emphasizes the swift progress of the adult-use amendment, recognizing the positive financial impact it is having on various organizations and the residents they serve.


Supporting the Veterans' Infrastructure

Paul Kirchhoff, the executive director of the Missouri Veterans Commission, highlights the significance of these funds. He points out that the allocated funds will help the Missouri Veterans Commission sustain and improve the infrastructure of the state's seven Veterans Homes. The importance of these facilities in providing essential care and support to veterans cannot be overstated, and this investment ensures their continued operation and development.


This round of payments builds on the legacy of previous funds that have been allocated to veterans' programs in the state. In total, nearly $40 million ($39,978,820) has been channeled to support veterans since the launch of Missouri's medical marijuana program in 2018. Notably, it was in 2020 when dispensary sales commenced.


Under Missouri's marijuana laws, medical marijuana products sold at licensed dispensaries are subject to a 4 percent state tax. Furthermore, a provision mandates that any revenue exceeding the cost of administering the program must be distributed to the Veterans Commission.


Challenges and Controversies

Missouri's burgeoning marijuana industry is not without its challenges and controversies. Issues related to social equity licensing have emerged, with concerns over the process's exploitation and inequities. Some stakeholders have even resorted to questionable practices that undermine the principles of fairness and social equity.


Legal battles have arisen over new cannabis taxes, with businesses arguing that stacking state and local tax rates violates state law. Recalls of thousands of cannabis products alleged to have used out-of-state hemp have added to the complexities of the regulatory landscape.


Despite these challenges, the marijuana industry in Missouri is evolving, offering various opportunities and career pathways, especially for students. Colleges in the state have introduced courses to prepare students for the expanding legal cannabis sector. Truman State University, for instance, offers a bachelor's degree program in cannabis and natural medicines, combining online classes with hands-on instruction.


A Positive Impact on State Revenue

Missouri is among the states that have successfully harnessed marijuana tax revenue to support essential programs, including those benefiting veterans. The revenue generated from marijuana sales contributes to the state's income, indicating a balanced approach to revenue collection.


As per the U.S. Census Bureau's data, marijuana tax revenue in Missouri accounts for approximately 0.92 percent of the state's income. While not the highest, it signifies the state's ability to generate revenue and allocate it toward crucial areas like veterans' services and healthcare.


Summary

Missouri's commitment to supporting veterans' health, drug treatment, and legal aid through marijuana revenue is a testament to the state's dedication to improving lives. Medical marijuana plays a pivotal role in this journey, offering specialized treatments and a robust framework for patient care. The investment in veterans' well-being is a reminder that, while recreational marijuana has gained prominence, the medical program remains a cornerstone of patient-centric care.


As you navigate Missouri's dynamic marijuana landscape, consider the profound impact that medical marijuana can have on your health. The choice between medical and recreational marijuana depends on your unique healthcare requirements. For those seeking specialized treatment and guided expertise, obtaining a medical marijuana card is the right choice. It ensures legal access to the care you deserve.


Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri Today!

Although marijuana is now legal recreationally in Missouri, you should still get your medical card. If you have any questions, just give us a call!


There are so many benefits to having your medical marijuana card in a recreational state, including being responsible for less in taxes, saving at dispensaries, and higher possession laws.


If you don’t already have your medical marijuana card, we can help! Our doctors are standing by to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. During your evaluation, they will be happy to answer all your questions about how cannabis may be able to help with your anxiety or any other medical conditions.


(877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.


 

Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.


At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.


Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting the relief you can trust today!


Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.

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