Missouri Dispensaries Set To Sell $ 200 Million In Medical Marijuana This Year | KCUR 89.3
Sales of medical marijuana in Missouri are up sharply this summer. The industry generated nearly $ 16.5 million last month, up from $ 15.5 million the month before.
In less than a year of operation, dispensaries and other cannabis companies have grossed over $ 70 million, according to recent data collected by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which oversees the new industry.
Lyndall Fraker, who heads the national cannabis program, says these numbers are good but expected.
“We have brought so many dispensaries online and we have expanded the patient base by adding more facilities. So you will automatically have new patients who will be in areas where there was no dispensary which was nice. to wait, ”he said. “I think that’s the main reason.”
He said cumulative sales are in line with their objectives cross the $ 100 million mark by the end of the summer and $ 200 million by the end of the year.
There are now around 125 medical cannabis dispensaries operating across the state. Fraker predicts that up to 80 more will open by the end of August before things slow down.
The number of patients using cannabis is also increasing. Today, more than 125,000 Missourians have a medical marijuana card.
This includes approximately 3,700 people who work in the industry. Andrew Mullins, executive director of the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, said in a statement he expects the number of jobs to double in the industry’s first full year of operation.
“It remains a summer of high expectations, with thousands of new patients every week getting their cannabis card, business owners creating a constant stream of new jobs, and our industry generating millions in new tax revenue for the state. through an additional 4% sales tax dedicated to veteran health and care, ”Mullins said.
Many dispensaries open around unofficial industry holidays April 20, says 4/20.
This includes Root 66 in St. Peters. District manager Rachel Shenk said the St. Charles County store is already seeing more demand than the brand’s other two locations in St. Louis, with many patients coming from cities even further west. like O’Fallon and Wentzville.
“Customers in this region were looking for something closer. There haven’t been a lot of clinics open, ”she said.
Shenk previously worked at dispensaries in Colorado when the cannabis industry there shifted from medical to recreational use in 2014. She said growth in new customers and sales in the Missouri market was increasing as expected at this point.
But she said the challenge for dispensaries in Missouri is to keep enough inventory on hand with only a few growers currently growing cannabis. The state has issued around 60 licenses for growers, but only 23 have opened so far.
“There are a lot of dispensaries open right now, so everyone is fighting for the same products from the same vendors that exist,” Shenk said.
She hopes to see more suppliers open over the next six months.
Follow Corinne on Twitter: @corinnesusan
Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit Saint-Louis public radio.