KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sellers, cultivators and patients who are part of Missouri's new medical marijuana industry are gearing up for the start of sales in the Show-Me State next year.
Cannabis already is reaping a windfall for Missouri's tax coffers.
"The first place you start is by seeing a doctor, and understanding why it`s going to be good for you," Perry Jones said, who owns cannabis dispensaries in Oklahoma.
From now through Friday, Missourians can come down to the West Bottoms for an exam needed to get a medical marijuana card.
Establishing a market for cannabis is important because the state is expected to award 338 licenses for marijuana growers and sellers next month.
"Most doctors won`t be able to write certifications because they are in a network," Jones said. "We have the option that you can come and see someone, non-judgment in a one-on-one to talk about those specific conditions for you."
The state has received more than 2,200 applications to be part of the cannabis industry, and has already collected $13 million in licensing fees.
Specialists in accounting, insurance and marketing have identified marijuana entrepreneurs as a fast growing business support opportunity.
"Everyone needs to know a little bit about the cannabis industry," said Wendy Turner, education director for the Cannabis Industry Showcase. "It affects so many aspects of everyone`s life. From being a patient, from being a cultivator or just anyone."
Industry proponents hope by hosting a streamlined patient drive at this expo, those interested in the benefits of medical marijuana can pay $100 to complete a doctor's exam and state application in less than an hour.
Patients applying for medical marijuana ID cards should expect to receive a decision within 14 days of the state receiving their application.
Sales in Missouri are not expected to begin until the middle of next year.