KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missourians who operate medical marijuana dispensaries are hoping business will boom now that voters approved recreational pot.
Amendment 3 goes into effect December 8, but people aren’t expected to be able to buy products until at least February.
It appears that the future of cannabis is very green in Missouri. The Secretary of State’s Office expects recreational pot to bring in about $41 million annually. That likely means a boost in business for local dispensaries like Fresh+Karma, which has locations in Parkville, Kansas City, St. Joseph, as well as a manufacturing facility.
The Kansas City location just opened a year ago.
“It’s very exciting. It’s something we’ve been talking about, preparing for,” said marketing director Jericho Heese.
He added that on any given week they’ll see more than 100 patients, and more on the weekends, but they’re preparing for more customers come February.
“The projections we’re looking at are 3 to 5 times within those numbers,” Heese said. “Of course, everyone is hoping the 5x is closer to true than the 3x. It’s really tough to tell, but we’re going to do our best and be prepared as possible.”
“I think it’s going to grow a humongous amount,” said Devin Mullins with The Forest Dispensary.
His place is newer than Fresh+Karma. They just opened last month, which could cause some to believe he jumped at the chance to set up shop ahead of the Amendment 3 vote.
“No, actually, we came out here to be part of the medical community and serve the medical patients,” he said.
His parent company, Standard Wellness, is headquartered out of Cleveland, but their cultivation and manufacturing plant is in Vandalia, Missouri, about three hours east of the metro.
Standard Wellness also has operations in Ohio, Utah, and Maryland. The latter also just legalized recreational pot on Tuesday, which Mullins admitted is pretty good timing.
“I think it’s going to be great for Kansas City, especially Westport,” he said.
Mullins said the plan is to now work on hiring more staff (his dispensary currently employs 10), getting more products, and expanding their hours.
That’s something Heese and his 90 or so colleagues are also working on at Fresh+Karma too.
“You could probably see that all our stores close to doubling [staff] and stuff. So, I’d say this time next year it could very well be twice as many,” Heese said.
Current dispensaries will have the first chance to apply for a license to sell both medical and recreational marijuana, something both dispensaries FOX4 spoke with are waiting to hear about from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which is overseeing the rollout of recreational marijuana.
After that, a lottery system will be used for an additional 144 micro-licenses for smaller operators looking to enter the market.
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