According to the Division of Cannabis Regulation, Missouri surpassed $1 billion in legal cannabis sales on May 2. Cannabis sales in Missouri began on Oct. 17, 2020, when Larry, a cancer survivor, and his wife Sue, an RN, made the state’s first legal medical marijuana purchase at N’Bliss Cannabis Dispensary in St. Louis County.
Missouri began adult use marijuana sales on Feb. 3, 2023, following the successful passage of marijuana legalization by Missouri voters in Nov. 2022.
In the first three months (Feb-April) of adult use cannabis sales, Missouri has sold $350.2 million, including $256.2 million of adult use cannabis and $94 million in medical marijuana. For comparison, Illinois, which has twice Missouri’s population, sold a total of $188.1 million in the first three months of adult use sales in January through March 2020. Missouri’s new cannabis program, which features one of the lowest-adult use cannabis taxes in the nation, has received widespread praise for being customer-friendly, affordable and accessible.
“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,” said Andrew Mullins, MoCannTrade Executive Director.
“Missouri has avoided so many of the early hiccups that other states have experienced transitioning from a medical cannabis program focusing on quality, affordability, access and selection. Missouri’s cannabis program could not have gotten off to a better start. A sincere thank you to all the patients, customers, and small business owners that helped Missouri reach this impressive milestone.”
Unlike in other states where local governments have sought to ban adult use marijuana sales, communities across the state are embracing having the economic benefits of Missouri’s newest $1 billion industry as part of the local economy. In April, hundreds of Missouri cities and counties voted in support of local marijuana sales tax ballot measures. Missouri has now surpassed 14,800 direct jobs in the industry, and early indications are that these jobs pay higher than cannabis jobs in many other states.
When Missourians approved marijuana legalization by more than 127,000 votes in November, Missouri also became the first state in the nation to automatically expunge past, nonviolent marijuana offenses by a vote of the people. Already, more than 31,000 past, Missouri cannabis offenses have been automatically expunged, with that number expected to rise quickly in the coming months. Part of the 6% sales tax Missourians pay on adult use cannabis sales goes to fund these automatic expungements.