Missouri’s Marijuana Market Tallied More Than $1.4 Billion During First Full Year Of Adult-Use Sales

Missouri’s Marijuana Market Tallied More Than $1.4 Billion During First Full Year Of Adult-Use Sales

Missouri sold more than $1.4 billion worth of legal cannabis during the first year of recreational sales. That’s about $1.13 billion in adult-use purchases, according to state data released by the Department of Health and Senior Services, and another $280 million in medical marijuana transactions.

The state launched legal marijuana sales to adults 21 and older in February of last year. Retailers’ best month of the year was December, during which consumers bought $106.5 million in regulated cannabis products.

During January of this year, stores sold $94.8 million in adult-use marijuana—lower than any month since last May.

Medical marijuana sales in Missouri, meanwhile, continue to slide after the opening of the adult-use market. January saw $15 million in medical purchases, down from $37 million in January 2023.

Patient applications for the state’s medical marijuana program have also fallen to near-historic lows, as have the number of monthly business licenses issued by regulators. Declines in medical marijuana enrollment and purchasing are common in states after the opening of retail stores, which are often more numerous and don’t require visiting doctors or enrolling in state-run registries.

All told, going back to when the state’s first medical marijuana sales began, in October 2020, licensed retailers in Missouri have reported sales of more than $2 billion in legal cannabis products. As of last month, the cumulative total reached $2.05 billion, as noted by Greenway Magazine.

“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,” Andrew Mullins, executive director of the trade association MoCannTrade, said in a press release published by the magazine.

“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,” Mullins added. “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.”

Comparatively speaking, Missouri’s first year of legal sales was markedly stronger than in some other states. New York, which has seen a slow opening to its adult-use market, saw roughly $150 million during its first year of legal sales.

Missouri’s total during its first year was also higher per capita than legal sales in Illinois during 2023. That state, with a significantly more mature cannabis market, saw about $1.6 billion in adult-use sales last year but it home to more than twice as many people.

The state has also collected more than $150 million in marijuana-related revenue since medical marijuana became legal, according to a recent presentation by the director of the state’s Division of Cannabis Regulation.

During the current fiscal year, which ends in July, Director Amy Moore said the Missouri Veterans Commission is expected to receive about $19 million in revenue from cannabis, which could increase to $22 million next year. To date, nearly $40 million in medical marijuana sales revenue has gone to the commission.

Revenue has also funded more than the expungement of 100,000 past marijuana charges from people’s criminal records, though court officials are looking for another $3.7 million to complete the process in the coming budget year.

Meanwhile, as the state’s legislative session continues, a bill in the Senate would impose restrictions on intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoid products, which are currently unregulated but legal because they are considered hemp products.

Late last month House lawmakers also held a hearing on a proposal that would legalize the medical use of psilocybin in the state and mandate clinical trials exploring the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic.

A separate bill introduced this session would prevent police from using the smell of marijuana as the sole basis of a warrantless vehicle or property search, while another, introduced by a pair of Republicans, is attempting to cut workers’ compensation awards in half for on-the-job injuries if the employee tests positive for marijuana use—regardless of whether the worker was responsible for the incident.

An annual report released by the Division of Cannabis Regulation last month found that more than 40 percent of the owners listed on applications for state’s social equity marijuana licenses issued in October were from outside Missouri.

New Jersey Will ‘Reach And Surpass’ $1 Billion In Marijuana Sales In 2024, Even As Federal Legalization Stalls, Top State Regulator Says

Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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