In 2014, Governor Jay Nixon signed the Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill, making it possible for CBD to be used as medicine for seizures. In 2018, Amendment 2 was passed, making medical marijuana in the state completely legal.
Since these beginnings in 2014, many other changes surrounding the use and possession of medical marijuana have been put into place in Missouri so the state can provide legal medical marijuana to patients suffering from a variety of approved conditions. This legalization has been good for both patients and for the government, which is profiting significantly from the changes in MMJ law.
Is medical marijuana being sold in Missouri yet?
It has been a few years since the wheels began turning on the legalization and sale of medical marijuana in the state of Missouri. Even though laws were put into place that legalized MMJ and made it possible for qualifying patients to access the medication, dispensaries and sales had not yet come into play.
It wasn’t until October of 2020 that dispensaries began opening their doors to qualifying patients for the sale of medical marijuana. By this time, there was a vast number of licensed dispensaries ready and waiting to provide medication to those who needed it most.
How many dispensaries are licensed in Missouri?
The selling of medical marijuana in Missouri had humble beginnings, with only two non-profit organizations given the go ahead to grow cannabis for medical use in 2015. These two organizations were the first to be licensed, but they were not nearly close to the last.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is in charge of issuing licenses to both patients and facilities that are approved for the use or sale of medical marijuana. Since recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in the state, the regulations surrounding the sale of medical marijuana are heavily monitored by state departments.
According to data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, there are 192 licensed dispensaries in the state. As of writing, out of the 192, 130 are currently approved to operate. These dispensaries are designed to make it easier for Missouri residents with medical marijuana cards gain access to their medication in a seamless and stress-free way.
Dispensaries that are approved to operate have to do so in compliance with the regulations put forth by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, such as the certified seed-to-sale system, which tracks inventory and reports it to the state.
How much is medical marijuana tax in Missouri?
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, each state has its own tax laws regarding the legal sale of medical marijuana. After all, once something becomes legalized, it can be taxed for government revenue. In the state of Missouri, the retail sales tax on medical marijuana sits at 4%. Fees that are associated with cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing medical marijuana have also been a source of revenue for the state, and range anywhere from $6,000 to upwards of $25,000.
News reports from various outlets including Fox News 4 have stated that Missouri has accumulated more than $70 million in generated revenue from medical marijuana since October of last year. The significant jump in revenue from May to June is impressive, with May bringing in roughly $15.5 million and June bringing in roughly $16.5 million. According to data released by the Department of Health and Social Services, the steady increase in dispensary sales began accelerating in February of this year and has not slowed since.
Is medical marijuana expensive in Missouri?
Since the extravagant revenue numbers have been released, many people from outside the state of Missouri of those without access to a medical marijuana card may be wondering if it is an expensive medication.
The first cost associated with the purchase of medical marijuana include doctor’s visit fees and a $25 card fee. The cost for medical marijuana itself is a little steeper. When the dispensaries first opened last October, purchasing an eighth of an ounce cost between $50 to $60 on average. Many people thought those numbers would decline as more dispensaries have opened up, but according to Budzu, they have held steady for the last nine months.
With the high prices for medical marijuana, the large number of dispensaries, and the overall sales tax, it’s no wonder that the industry is doing so well. When you couple that with the fact that many patients have been waiting patiently to finally be able to use medical marijuana to relieve their chronic health conditions, you can see how it’s created the perfect storm for exceptional revenue from the Missouri medical marijuana industry.
Featured image by Tiffany Cade on Unsplash