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Missourians voted to pass Constitutional Amendment 3 in 2022 with sales of recreational cannabis beginning in February 2023.
Adding together recreational and medical cannabis, sales in Missouri reached $350 million and is expected to continue to grow, potentially reaching $1 billion by the end of the year (1).
“We didn’t know if Amendment 3 was going to pass,” Nicholas Rinella, CEO of Hippos Cannabis said (1). “Once it did pass, what the industry had expected was a 2.5 times bump in sales. And it ended up being closer to five to six times.” Amendment 3 passed in late 2022 with 53% in favor (2). Medical cannabis was legalized in 2018 with 60% in favor (2).
In comparison, sales in neighboring Illinois reached $300 within seven months of beginning recreational sales and hit $1.6 billion two years later (1).
Increased demand has led to the need for businesses to expand. At the end of February, DHSS had 121 pending requests for facilities, the majority being for cultivation facilities, dispensaries, and manufacturing sites, plus several for transportation and one testing facility (1). “DHSS is in the process of hiring a large amount of new staff to handle the increase in workload associated with the new law,” DHSS spokeswoman Lisa Cox said (1). “The Division of Cannabis Regulation is about 30% through their hiring plan and expect to be fully staffed by the end of the year.”