Green Releaf dispensary’s first sale of THC flower came shortly after 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Owner Jay Patel missed it.
“I wanted to make the first sale, but I had to come out and talk to you guys,” he said with a laugh, referring to The Ledger and KOMU television’s Lauren Schwentker.
His staff were kept busy, however. Patients lined up more than an hour before THC sales began. And there was a steady procession through the doors Wednesday afternoon.
Purchasing medicinal marijuana is not a simple process. Patients must have a state-issued card. They must show identification and be checked in. They must wait their turn to enter the main area. And they must have cash.
There are regulatory hoops on the business side, as well.
“You can’t compare opening a dispensary with opening another business,” Patel observed. “It’s been a lot of long nights, a lot of stress, a lot of money up front – we’re excited to get the doors open.”
Despite medicinal marijuana being a new industry with a unique learning curve on all sides, Patel explained that the city and state have been reliable partners through the process.
Cannabis products are screened by state-accredited laboratories before approval for shipment to dispensaries. Each dispensary, in turn, is required to use a seed-to-sale tracking system certified by the state’s department of health. In addition to security and the cash-only business model, owners must use inventory control systems, an approved scale and follow many other rules.
The Mexico location is only the second operating in central Missouri. The other – located in Moberly and also owned by Patel – began selling recently. He has licenses for two more dispensaries, to be located in Troy and Columbia.
Jack Cardetti, spokesperson for the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association welcomed the