- J. L. Campbell
You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: A Look Back Over Medical Marijuana’s First Year in Missouri
Last month marked the one year anniversary of the first dispensaries opening for business in Missouri, providing state residents with a medical card access to legal cannabis. Marijuana patients waited a long time for relief. There was a nearly two year wait between legislation passing on November 6, 2018 and dispensaries opening on October 17, 2020.
Now, after a year of sales, we look back on medical marijuana’s multifaceted impact on the Show-Me-State.
Medical Marijuana Brought Big Money to Missouri
When medical marijuana first became legal in the state, many were unsure if the cannabis industry would bring in the kind of revenue experts were predicting. Missouri regulations don’t make it easy for businesses to get a license, and some wondered if it would be worth the hassle.
After a year of sales, the numbers speak for themselves. The medical marijuana industry brought in over $140 million dollars in sales in the first twelve months of business. Industry growth doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Experts predict total medical marijuana revenue for 2021 to hit a staggering two hundred million dollars.
Veterans Received Millions
Marijuana patients, employees, and entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones who have benefitted from medical marijuana. Missouri veterans received nearly seven million dollars in tax revenue generated by cannabis sales. These funds are designated for veterans health and safety initiatives and to help complete the Missouri Veterans Cemetery.
Cannabis Jobs Employed Thousands
Medical marijuana quickly became a major job creator in Missouri. Nearly 5,000 residents are employed in the cannabis field, working at dispensaries, growing and cultivating facilities, in home care, and marijuana support positions, such as software and security. As more businesses open their doors, the number of Missourians employed in the cannabis field will continue to rise.
Over 150 Licensed Dispensaries in Missouri
Cannabis dispensaries seem to be popping up all over the state. This is a good thing. It means more patients will have local access to regulated cannabis products they can trust. It also means more competition, which will lead to lower medical marijuana prices.
As of October 1st, the state had issued operating licenses to 151 medical marijuana dispensaries in Missouri. An additional 76 licenses have been awarded to manufacturing and cultivation facilities.
A Federal Judge Overruled Residency Requirements
When licenses were first being awarded, the state required that each medical marijuana business be majority-owned by a state resident. The intentions of this law were good. The idea was that Missouri-based businesses should benefit most from the newly legal medical marijuana industry.
Unfortunately, this regulation severely limited patient access to some of the nation’s largest cannabis brands. The rule was also deemed unconstitutional. In December of 2020, Mark Toigo sued the state, and Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled in his favor, granting a preliminary injunction halting the state from enforcing the residency requirement for marijuana businesses.
This ruling opened the door to a larger discussion, and last month, a federal judge struck down the resident requirement in its entirety. This means businesses from throughout the nation are free to apply for a license to grow or sell cannabis in the state.
Over 135,000 Medical Marijuana Patients
Missouri residents are benefitting from the wide-array of conditions that cannabis can treat. Patients dealing with chronic pain and inflammation, anxiety, depression, and more are getting the natural relief that medicinal cannabis provides for the first time in state history. As of last August, Missouri had over 135,000 medical marijuana patients.
Need Help Getting Your Medical Marijuana Card?
If you are ready to join more than 135,000 Missourians by getting your medical marijuana card, our medical staff is standing by to help. Our doctors can take you through a quick evaluation to see if you qualify. Schedule an appointment with a marijuana physician, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping 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 relief you can trust today!
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