JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Since Missouri started adult use cannabis sales on Feb. 3, 2023, dispensaries have sold more than $1.4 billion of legal, taxed and tested marijuana in the state of Missouri. The tax revenues from these sales have helped fund more than 100,000 automatic expungements for past, nonviolent cannabis offenses from Missourians’ records. Today, 19,029 Missourians work directly in the legal cannabis industry, compared to only 9,838 jobs the month before the November 2022 legalization vote.
Missouri’s $1.4 billion in first-year sales far surpassed the first year of sales in neighboring Illinois, which has twice the population of Missouri. Illinois adult use sales began on Jan. 1, 2020, and combined medical and adult use sales totaled $1,000,380,800 that first year in the Land of Lincoln. According to an article in MJBizDaily, four U.S. states began adult use sales at some point during 2023, with Missouri sales significantly surpassing the other three, including Maryland, New York and Connecticut.
Part of the 6% sales tax that Missourians pay on adult use marijuana sales goes to fund automatic expungements of past, nonviolent cannabis offenses. Missouri became the first state in the nation to automatically expunge these marijuana charges by a vote of the people. So far, more than 100,000 marijuana offenses have been automatically expunged and that number will continue to rise over the next year.
“The first 12 months of legal, taxed and tested adult use cannabis sales in Missouri have created thousands of jobs, helped stimulate local economies, wiped out more than 100,000 past criminal records, and provided tens of millions to help care for our veterans,” said Andrew Mullins, MoCannTrade Executive Director. “When Missourians voted for marijuana legalization, the Missouri cannabis industry was fully committed to a smooth transition and to bringing economic benefits across the state. But never in our wildest dreams did we anticipate the level of excitement and support we’ve received over the past 12 months. This will not only go down as one of the finest criminal justice reforms in our state’s history, but Missouri’s newest billion-dollar industry will also strengthen our economies and communities for years to come.”
Since medical marijuana sales began in Missouri in 2020, Missouri has collected more than $150 million in taxes and fees, with veterans receiving $40 million of that total to date.