Sales of medical marijuana in Missouri are rising sharply this summer. Last month, the industry generated nearly $16.5 million, up from $15.5 million the month before.
In less than a year in operation, dispensaries and other cannabis companies have raked in more than $70 million, according to recent data collected by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which oversees the new industry.
Lyndall Fraker, who heads the state cannabis program, says those numbers are good but expected.
“We’ve put so many dispensaries online, and we’ve broadened the patient base by adding more facilities, so you’re automatically going to have new patients that are going to be in areas where there wasn’t a dispensary that were kind of waiting,” he said. “I think that’s the biggest reason.”
He said cumulative sales are on track with his goals to hit the $100 million milestone by the end of the summer and $200 million by the end of the year.
There are now about 125 medical cannabis dispensaries open across the state. Fraker anticipates that up to 80 more will open by the end of August before things slow down.
The number of patients consuming cannabis is growing too. Now, more than 125,000 Missourians have a medical marijuana card.
That includes about 3,700 people who work in the industry. Andrew Mullins, executive director of the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, said in a statement that he expects the number of jobs to double over the course of the industry’s first full year in operation.
“This remains a summer of lofty expectations, with thousands of new patients each week obtaining their cannabis cards, business owners creating a steady flow of new jobs and our industry generating millions in new tax revenue for the state thanks to an additional 4% sales tax dedicated to the health and care of veterans,” Mullins