Medical cannabis industry creates nearly one in 10 new Missouri jobs

Rapid growth continues through 2021 as industry approaches 7K Missouri employees

With nearly 7,000 jobs created in its first full year of operation, Missouri’s medical cannabis industry accounted for almost one out of every 10 new jobs statewide in 2021, year-end state employment statistics show.

The Missouri Department of Labor tallied 77,600 new jobs in the state between December 2020 and December 2021.

Simultaneously, the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services in January reported issuing a total of 6,596 state agent ID cards to work in medical cannabis facilities. All but a few hundred of those cards have been issued since retail sales commenced in late October 2020.

The robust employment gains mark only the latest successful metric for a 21st century industry that has drawn nearly 170,000 registered patients and caregivers while exceeding $200 million in retail sales in 2021.

“Missouri’s medical cannabis industry is delivering on its promise of not only providing safe, affordable and convenient access for patients but also helping to infuse the state’s economy with sizable investment and millions in new tax revenue,” said Andrew Mullins, executive director of MoCannTrade (The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association).

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has to date approved the opening of 322 facilities, including 185 dispensaries, 63 infused product manufacturers, and 46 marijuana cultivation facilities.

DHSS has licensed and certified a total of 386 facilities to cultivate, manufacture, test, transport and dispense medical marijuana to Missouri patients.


For Jay Patel, CEO of Green Releaf Dispensaries, opening a half-dozen retail outlets from scratch in Columbia, Troy, Mexico, Moberly, Liberty and Nevada has meant a steep hiring curve – but also thousands of applicants lured by the promise of a start-up workplace with years, if not decades, of growth ahead.

“Medical cannabis is hands down the most impactful collective investment our state has seen in recent memory,” he said.

The outsized economic impact can be seen most keenly in smaller towns like Humansville, population 1,051, and home to Flora Farms.

With both a cultivation site and dispensary in the Polk County town, and more than 200 workers across its operations, locals now have another option to commuting 100 miles round-trip at jobs in Springfield. The company attracted more than 1,000 applicants wanting to work in Humansville or at its Springfield and Neosho dispensaries, said Flora Farms CEO Mark Hendren.

Under Article IX of the state Constitution, Missouri residents with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma and 20 other qualifying conditions can purchase or cultivate medical cannabis with a physician’s certification. The law also provides physicians with the discretion to certify patients who have other chronic and debilitating medical conditions that could benefit from medical marijuana, and legally protects their right to have such conversations.
MoCannTrade (The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association) is an association of business owners, health care providers, professionals, patients and residents responsible for helping to implement a successful, safe, compliant medical marijuana program in Missouri.

The membership-based association is directed by a board of diverse professionals experienced in medical marijuana, healthcare, law, pharmaceutical, science, agriculture, law enforcement, security, commercial real estate, finance, public affairs and regulatory sectors.

To learn more about MoCannTrade please visit