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Missouri Cannabis Sales Top $1 Billion Mark

Just three months since legal recreational marijuana sales began, the “Show-Me” state has already surpassed a billion dollars in combined adult-use and medical cannabis revenue.

Missouri has a new billion-dollar industry. With millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet and industries from Silicon Valley to Wall Street laying off thousands, one market sector may be an unlikely savior for many states desperately seeking salvation from inflation and economic recession.


As first reported by local KOMU TV, the relatively young cannabis industry in Missouri recently achieved a remarkable milestone. According to a news release by the Missouri Division of Cannabis Regulations (MDCR), cumulative sales revenue for medicinal and recreational cannabis in the state surpassed one billion dollars on May 2.


Much of the credit for reaching the lofty threshold goes to the somewhat unexpected and robust sales in the adult-use sector, which launched legal sales just three months ago. While medical marijuana sales (which began in Missouri in October 2020) have been consistent and steady, the newly established recreational industry has blown away projections in its first 90 days.


During those three months, retail dispensaries sold $256.2 million of adult-use cannabis, with medical marijuana sales producing an additional $94 million in revenue. As a result, total recreational and medical sales are on pace to exceed $1.4 billion by the end of 2023.


By comparison, cannabis businesses in Illinois, which has twice the population of Missouri, achieved only $188.1 million in marijuana sales during the first three months of its legal adult-use cannabis market launch between January and March 2020.


Even industry insiders are surprised by the unexpected numbers. Jack Cardetti, a spokesperson for the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association, said, “Over the first two months of full legalization, we have seen really strong sales that is, I think, above what many of us projected would happen. (In addition), we are seeing strong sales in every corner of our state, which is rather unique.”


"Over the first two months of full legalization, we have seen really strong sales that is, I think, above what many of us projected would happen. (In addition), we are seeing strong sales in every corner of our state, which is rather unique.”

- Jack Cardetti, Spokesperson for the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association


Cardetti and others attribute the success to the citizens of Missouri and their genuine embrace of the economic and health and wellness possibilities made possible by the new recreational market.


He goes on to say, “Many states have struggled in those first months of legalization, but not here in Missouri. Unlike in Colorado, Missouri communities are embracing cannabis dispensaries because they know the economic benefits they provide to the community.”


"Many states have struggled in those first months of legalization, but not here in Missouri. Unlike in Colorado, Missouri communities are embracing cannabis dispensaries because they know the economic benefits they provide to the community.”

- Jack Cardetti, Spokesperson for the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association


Along with its strong sales performance, the adult-use industry has provided an influx of much-needed jobs for Missourans. According to the MDCR release, since the launch of the recreational market in February, direct jobs in the cannabis industry have exceeded 14,800 in Missouri. The report also indicates that these jobs pay higher than similar cannabis jobs in many other states with legal adult-use marijuana sales.


In discussing the stellar results of the recent economic statistics, Andrew Mullins, the executive director of the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association, said, “Missouri’s newest billion-dollar industry is experiencing significant job growth, providing great products and services to Missourians, and becoming an integral part to the local economy throughout the state.”


"Missouri’s newest billion-dollar industry is experiencing significant job growth, providing great products and services to Missourians, and becoming an integral part to the local economy throughout the state.”

- Andrew Mullins, Executive Director of the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association


The impact of the legalization measure, Amendment 3, which Missouri voters approved by a 53% to 47% vote last fall, has also had a positive social equity impact on individuals convicted of past nonviolent cannabis offenses. With the passage of the marijuana reform, Missouri became the first state to expunge those types of criminal records automatically. To date, more than 31,000 offenses have been expunged.


With legal marijuana markets in states like Colorado and California taking some substantial negative economic blows since the heady boom time days of the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented lockdowns, results like those in Missouri come as welcome news for industry advocates and stakeholders.


As states like Minnesota near the establishment of their own legal and regulated adult-use markets, examples like those set by lawmakers, regulators, and entrepreneurs in Missouri should help shine a light on the correct type of path to pursue in creating economic and social success through the implementation of a thoughtful and well-supported cannabis industry.


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