Missouri cannabis consumers got a bit of a surprise just in time for the weekend when the first legal adult use sales took place on Friday, three days early.
The first transaction took place shortly after the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced that it had begun to convert existing medical cannabis operators to adult use licensees. As of Friday, roughly 200 shops, about 56 cultivators, just over 72 infused product manufacturers, and eight labs had received regulatory approval to operate in the adult use industry.
Missouri joined the growing number of states with legal adult use cannabis after voters passed Amendment 3 on Election Day in November 2022. People 21 and older can now possess up to three ounces of cannabis, and medical cannabis patients can have up to six ounces.
The state’s adult use law allows for home growing, as long as someone registers, and also includes automatic expungement of qualifying cannabis offenses. Tax revenue from cannabis sales will be split among several areas, including veteran causes, drug treatment, and public defenders.
The state will eventually allocate microbusiness licenses, which are reserved for entities owned by people who, for example, have a previous cannabis-related charge, are a disabled veteran, or have a low income.
Among the shops opening on Friday was Good Day Farm, which announced a sizable footprint of 19 shops to open on day one of legal sales. Good Day Farm, as Cannabis Wire has reported, was a top contributor to legalization campaigns in both Missouri and Arkansas. Missouri’s campaign raised roughly $7 million.
More businesses are expected to be approved for conversion in the coming days.
After Amendment 3 passed in November, John Payne, campaign director for Legal MO 22, said in a statement to Cannabis Wire, “This enormous step forward for criminal justice reform will result in hundreds of thousands of Missourians having their records cleared, at no cost to them, for an activity that is now legal.”