Missouri, the state of marijuana
Missouri’s marijuana market has seen continued growth in recent months, with some ups and downs. While the state sold over $126 million worth of marijuana at retail in March 2023, with recreational sales accounting for $93 million of that total, the number of active patients in the state’s medical marijuana program has fallen by 15,000 since November 2022.
The decrease in patient count is due in large part to the state’s legalization of adult use marijuana in November and the commencement of recreational sales, which began in February 2023. Recreational sales have quadrupled average monthly sales, with the first two months of combined sales – March and February 20203 accounting for more than 26% of cumulative marijuana sales. Some patients have chosen to switch to recreational sales instead of renewing their medical cards, while many new consumers haven’t felt the need to apply for a medical certification now. Despite the decline in patient count, Missouri’s marijuana market continues to be strong.
Supply and Demand
One of the biggest challenges currently facing the industry in Missouri is supply shortages. But operators are hopeful that supply issues are short-lived. Despite some manufacturers facing shortages, nearly all cultivation operations have expanded and many expect to be able to fully meet or exceed supply demands by June of this year. This bodes well for the industry, as it suggests that the state’s cannabis market will continue to grow in the coming months and years.
While consumers and patients are beginning to see an increase in final pricepoint at the point of sale, those increases are expected to quickly level off and begin to decline in the coming months.
The addition of microbusiness licenses, which will be awarded in December, will help to continue driving prices down as the niche businesses create a submarket of small-batch cannabis sold exclusively at microbusiness-licensed dispensaries.
The success of Missouri’s marijuana market can also be attributed to the nearly 200 operational dispensaries throughout the state. Patients and recreational users alike have easy access to high-quality cannabis products, making it easy to find the products that best meet their needs. Dispensaries also provide jobs and tax revenue for the state, further boosting the economy. Currently, more than 14,000 agents are registered to work directly with legal marijuana in Missouri, and ancillary businesses account for hundreds if not thousands of other positions that have been created since marijuana was first legalized in Missouri in 2018.
The launch of recreational sales in February 2023 has been a significant milestone for Missouri’s cannabis industry. The increase in sales has been dramatic, with recreational sales bringing in new clientele en masse. In a recent industry survey by Greenway, dispensary operators boasted explosive growth in their businesses. No company reported growth of less than 75%. But more than 80% of those surveyed saw growth in excess of 100%, with more than 60% of businesses seeing sales grow more than 2x. 15% of those respondents saw sales grow by more than 400% since adult use legalization.
Looking ahead, Missouri’s marijuana market is projected to exceed the $1 billion dollar mark in annual sales in 2023. With more patients potentially enrolling in the medical marijuana program as city and county sales taxes are implemented on recreational purchases, and recreational sales continuing to rise as more and more out-of-state consumers flock to the state for spring and summer travel, Missouri projects to see continued rapid growth in retail cannabis sales. With a strong foundation in place, Missouri’s marijuana market is poised for continued success in the future.