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Missouri Making A Motza From Medical Cannabis

Total sales in Missouri’s medical marijuana program have reached the $200 million mark – and the state gets its cut.

It was just 14 months ago the first sale occurred in a licensed Missouri medical marijuana dispensary. In September this year, monthly cannabis sales exceeded $20 million for the first time and in November, total sales came to a whisker under $26 million.

The $200 million total includes a 4% tax on the retail sale of marijuana – meaning the state’s coffers have benefited by $8 million. There are 158,169 qualified patients (equivalent to around 2% of the state’s entire population), so the total sales average out to $1,264 per patient – with a bit more than $50 going to the state. The cash isn’t going into general revenue as it has been earmarked for veterans’ services.

According to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, more than 300 medical cannabis facilities are now operating in the state in various sectors; including cultivators, manufacturers, dispensaries, testing laboratories, transporters and seed to sale providers.

In order to purchase medicinal cannabis, Missouri residents need a doctor’s certification indicating they suffer one or more of close to two dozen qualifying conditions that include a chronic medical condition causing severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms.

A physician may certify a patient to acquire up to four ounces of dried, unprocessed marijuana, or its equivalent, in a 30-day period. However, if a patient needs a greater amount, two independent physician certifications are required to justify this.

In total, there will be 192 dispensaries in Missouri – but appropriately registered patients or their caregivers can home-grow up to six  flowering plants, six non-flowering plants and six clones at any given time. There is an additional fee for this privilege – an extra $100 – and security regulations that must be followed.

The Department seems pretty proud of its efforts in rolling out the state’s program..

“The national average for implementation is 29 months, and Missouri was able to implement its medical program in just over 23 months,” the DHSS stated last week. “Only five states implemented medical programs faster than Missouri (Pennsylvania, New York, Utah, Minnesota and Oklahoma).”

More information Missouri’s medical cannabis program can be found here.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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