Most Missouri Medical Marijuana Licensees Submit Adult-Use Applications

The Department of Health and Senior Services has received hundreds of applications from Medical Marijuana Licensees to sell to the adult-use market in the state.

Applications For Adult-Use

Most medical marijuana licensees in Missouri have submitted applications for a comprehensive license that will allow cannabis cultivators, retailers, and distributors to sell to the adult-use market in addition to registered patients.

The Department of Health and Senior Services has until Feb 6 to approve the 318 applications they have received thus far. The approval process is said to be a simple review, which is partly why Lindsey Fraker, the leader of Missouri’s MMJ program, is optimistic that all applications will be approved.

In the November election, Missouri voters approved cannabis possession and use for people 21 and older. The outcome of the voter ballot initiative was a win for cannabis advocates and the industry, as the new laws will allow thousands of Missourians to have their records cleared. The state is also expected to see millions in revenue from the expanded recreational market. MJBizDaily estimates the state’s newly established market could reach $550 million in the first year and jump to $800-900 million in the fourth year.

Medical Licensees Dominating Recreational Industry

Medical Marijuana was legalized in Missouri in 2018 through a ballot with 65.5% support from voters. Recreational cannabis, on the other hand, remained illegal until recently. Advocates and residents have been pushing for legalization and decriminalization for years. The recent reform meets the demand for the recreational cannabis market in the state. However,  most of the applications for a comprehensive license came from medical license holders, meaning that Missouri’s recreational industry will be dominated by medical licensees first.

This seems to be a trend in states that have had a similar policy change. The only concern that arises is that registered patients are not negatively affected by the changes. Medical licensees should continue to keep the semblance of a medical program in place to protect patient safety and foster equal access.

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Now that the adult use of cannabis is legal in Missouri, many medical marijuana license holders are dipping into the state’s recreational industry. Many stand to benefit from the new marijuana laws, from the state itself to people convicted of minor marijuana offenses.

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