Missouri’s record-breaking MMJ sales month has further confirmed the need (and demand!) for medical marijuana in the state. Missouri sold $21.03 million worth of medical marijuana in July 2021 alone, which puts 2021 revenue at just over $91 million at the time of writing. Along with the added revenue, more manufacturers, dispensaries, and facilities also opened in the same month. This staggering success of the medical marijuana business in Missouri has come a long way from the humble beginnings it had following its legalization.
It’s thought that the reason for this huge economic success is a result of patient access. Patients in Missouri don’t have to drive far to get access to their medication, prices of medical cannabis are being lowered, and the selection of available products is growing. The record sales are driven by these factors, and the industry is doing more than just helping patients with approved medical conditions find relief from their disorders. It is also creating jobs and giving medical marijuana companies in Missouri the opportunity to invest directly into their communities.
The Missouri medical marijuana journey
The Missouri government took a vote on Amendment 2, otherwise known as the Medical Marijuana and Veteran Healthcare Services Initiative, in 2018. After the bill was passed, the medical marijuana industry began taking steps to make cannabis accessible to patients with approved conditions.
In the short time that MMJ has been legal, the state has made exponential gains in revenue. A report by the Motley Fool has projected that Missouri’s total revenue from medical marijuana from its program’s inception to the end of 2021 may be just under $200 million.
What qualifies for a medical marijuana card in Missouri?
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, there is a variety of approved conditions that can grant people access to the use of medical marijuana. Those conditions include:
- Treatment-resistant migraines
- Conditions that cause persistent pain or muscle spasms such as Parkinson’s disease, seizures, Multiple Sclerosis, and Tourette’s syndrome
- Psychiatric disorders that are debilitating in nature, including post-traumatic stress disorder
- HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- Chronic medical conditions that could lead to a medication dependence, whether physical or psychological
- Terminal illnesses
- Other conditions such as hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, and others at the discretion of a physician
How much can you buy from a dispensary at a time in Missouri?
People living in Missouri with an MMJ card can purchase a variety of cannabis products such as edibles or dried flower. However, there are limits to the amount each patient can purchase at a time.
These limits are put in place to ensure that MMJ users are getting the appropriate doses of their medication – no more and no less. In Missouri, laws have been put into place stating that people who are approved to purchase medical marijuana have monthly limits. That means that over the course of a month, MMJ card holders can only possess so much MMJ, whether they purchase small amounts throughout the month or in bulk at the beginning of the month.
The limit on monthly amounts for patients in Missouri is 4 ounces, with an overall Missouri medical equivalency unit (MMEs) of no more than 32. This means that during the course of the month a person cannot get more than 32 MMEs or more than 4 ounces. An example on the Missouri government website states that 1 MME is equivalent to 3.5 grams of medical marijuana, 1 gram of marijuana concentrate, or 100 mg of THC-infused product. These will all be calculated together to ensure that a person does not go over their limit for the month.
Is it easy to get a medical card in Missouri?
Applying for a medical marijuana card is not a difficult process in Missouri. First, a person must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition and a certified physician must fill out a form for the qualifying patient to submit. Once the form is filled out and submitted, patients can complete their application by registering with the Complia application portal. After the person has completed registration, they can complete their application. The state department has up to 30 days to process the submitted applications, and this is done on a first-come first-serve basis.
With the sheer amount of revenue being made, the state of Missouri has been left in no doubt of the success of its MMJ program. According to reports, roughly 135,000 Missouri patients and caregivers have been approved to use medical marijuana to help chronic and debilitating health conditions, and the Missouri MMJ industry is only expected to continue its growth.
Featured image by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash