Missouri’s first medical marijuana dispensaries opened their doors this week in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions to high demand. More than 66,000 Missourians hold medical cards.
One thing that’s coming into focus is just how much legal cannabis will cost. For Missourians who’ve purchased cannabis on the black market or who have been growing it with a license since last summer, they may have sticker shock.
Jack Cardetti, a spokesman for the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, said prices are at their highest point.
“This is essentially the highest prices will ever be. And as more product comes onto the market, as more cultivators are producing, we obviously expect prices to go down,” he said, adding that he expects nearly 10 more cultivators to add product to the market in the coming weeks.
Right now, only one cultivator, out of 60 licensed in the state, is providing cannabis to the dispensaries that opened this week.
Alyssa Jank, a manager at the cannabis market research firm Brightfield Group, said Missouri dispensary prices are in line with Illinois’ recreational market, averaging between $50 and $60 for an eighth of an ounce of cannabis.
“Which is pretty standard, at least in the Midwest right now,” she said. “That’s due to capacity issues — so not having enough product available right now. … But as more dispensaries and more cultivation centers come online, we’re expecting that price to decline slowly.”
Over time, Jank anticipates Missouri’s dispensaries will offer different pricing tiers, ranging from budget to premium options.
Lyndall Fraker, director of the medical marijuana program for the state Department of Health and Senior Services, said his department hasn’t yet discussed whether and how it will release data, such as industry sales figures and how much the state is collecting in taxes.