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Million-dollar days: March Missouri medical cannabis sales set a monthly record

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri medical cannabis sales broke a monthly mark in March, topping $30 million for the first time as average sales approach $1 million per day.

Cumulative program sales sit at nearly $300 million since the first dispensary opened in mid-October 2020, more than one-third of which has been generated in the past four months.

At that rate, annual program revenue should easily top $300 million for 2022.

Industry watchers attribute much of that recent growth to more competitive, patient-friendly pricing as more facilities continue to open, including $20 edibles and $20 eighth-ounces of cannabis flower found at dispensaries across the state.

The increased sales also reflect the widespread access to medical marijuana for patients across the state. With 188 dispensaries open to date — and more than 200 slated to open — Missourians can count on safe, convenient access in the state’s big cities, outlying suburbs, and rural communities.

By comparison, Illinois (with twice the population of Missouri and both medical and adult-use programs) has just 56 dispensaries open.

“The state’s latest sales data is great news for Missouri’s medical cannabis license holders — and even better news for the more than 180,000 patients and caregivers who are benefitting from both greater product selection and more affordable prices as more new businesses continue to open,” said Andrew Mullins, executive director of MoCannTrade (Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association).

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services through Friday had approved the opening of 188 dispensaries, 67 infused product manufacturers, and 47 marijuana cultivation facilities.

Overall, more than 330 such facilities have so far been approved to operate.

The state agency has licensed and certified a total of 390 facilities to cultivate, manufacture, test, transport, and dispense medical marijuana to Missouri patients. That includes 203 dispensaries — 11 more than the legal minimum of 192 such retail outlets — and 63 cultivation facilities, which is three more than the legal minimum.

“Our regulatory team has continued to work closely with the state’s licensed facilities to get them up and running as quickly and safely as possible, and we are pleased that 188 dispensaries are now directly serving Missouri’s patients,” said Lyndall Fraker, director of the DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation.

“Now that we are getting very close to having all licensed facilities in operation, we are seeing retail prices drop and a steady supply of products meeting the needs of qualified patients in the safest way possible.”

 As of Monday, the state reports issuing 7,523 of the required state agent ID cards to work in medical cannabis facilities. All but 200 of those jobs have been added in the past year, with the medical cannabis industry accounting for nearly one in 10 new Missouri jobs statewide in 2021.

 Under Article IX of the state Constitution, Missouri residents with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, and 20 other qualifying conditions can purchase or cultivate medical cannabis with a physician’s certification. The law also provides physicians with the discretion to certify patients who have other chronic and debilitating medical conditions that could benefit from medical marijuana, and legally protects their right to have such conversations.