Friday October 9, 2020
Now that testing labs have been licensed and approved to begin operations, the final step in establishing Missouri’s medical marijuana market has been reached. As of October 9, 2020, sales can begin, as soon as products hit the shelves, they’ll be ready for purchase.
As of this writing, no dispensaries have stock just yet, but reports say it is a matter of days, and will certainly be ready by the end of the month, (barring any unforeseen circumstances). After months of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems the end truly is insight.
Missouri Medical Marijuana Launch (Product Availability, Limits, Supply, etc.)
While it is unknown exactly what products will hit shelves when medical marijuana sales kick-off, the state permits a wide range of cannabis products. Amendment 2 allows cannabis to be administered by:
Cannabis Products Allowed in Missouri Dispensaries:
- Ingestion of capsules, teas, oils, and other marijuana-infused products;
- Vaporization or smoking of dried flowers, buds, plant material, extracts, or oils;
- Application of ointments or balms;
- Transdermal patches and suppositories;
- Consuming marijuana-infused food products; or
- Any other method recommended by a qualifying patient's physician
Especially in these early weeks and months, expect products to move quickly, and there to be a certain amount of discrepancy between posted menus and what’s available as all the issues are worked out.
Remember, Missouri has a purchasing limit of, “four (4) ounces of dried, unprocessed marijuana per qualifying patient, or its equivalent, in a thirty- (30-) day period.”
Similar to Colorado, under Missouri regulations, one eighth (3.5g) of flower is equal to 1g of concentrate, or 100mg of edibles. Lastly, the state applies a 4% tax on the retail sale of marijuana for medical use.
Cannabis Product Availability
Cannabis takes time to grow, and while the first batch may be finally moving through testing facilities, once that supply is gone, consumers will have to wait while more is produced. Time and again, eager consumers are struck by the more unfortunate details of launching a cannabis market, and this is always one of the first reality bites. As grows establish and expand, the flow will become more constant; give it time.
Will There be Wait Times at Dispensaries?
With limited supply and high demand, wait times are almost guaranteed to be significant. Be prepared to wait, even with online ordering, pickup, or other systems.
Despite dispensaries’ best intentions and efforts, these systems can become quickly overloaded. This is a launch of an entirely new industry in the state, and like others before it, there will almost certainly be lines.
While the initial roll-out may take some time to normalize, there are 192 dispensaries licensed for operation. Not all will be open and operational from the get-go, but look forward to wider availability soon.
What Comes Next for Missouri Cannabis
With the system up and running it will stabilize over time, just as many others are in the process of doing (like IL and MI), and others have done before (CO, CA). Each time, prices start out high and eventually level off as demand and supply even out.
However, this general rule has exceptions on both sides. Prices in Nevada are still quite considerable despite the age of its market, while Oregon’s initial glut of flower created fire-sale prices.
Over time, rules and regulations will likely be reviewed, revised, or revoked in stages to fine-tune the system. Which path forward the state takes will be highly dependent on those adjustments. For those concerned about the course of the state’s cannabis market, it is best to stay informed, pay attention to the laws and amendments as they come, and voice your opinion to city regulators to help shape the future of cannabis in Missouri.
What are your thoughts on Missouri’s fledgling medical marijuana market? Share them in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Marie Watkins Oliver (license)