Missouri’s cannabis industry has surpassed $1 billion in sales of medical and recreational marijuana products for the year 2023, as disclosed by the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHHS). In October alone, retailers transacted approximately $95.5 million in recreational cannabis products and an additional $17.6 million in medical cannabis.
Although these figures reflect a slight decrease compared to the previous month, they contribute to the overall 2023 sales, pushing the state’s total marijuana revenue beyond $1.1 billion.
The trajectory of adult-use cannabis sales has exhibited a gradual increase since the commencement of sales in February. Conversely, the sales of medical cannabis have experienced a consistent decline. Notably, there has been a reduction in the number of registered medical cannabis patient cultivators, caregivers and patients throughout the year.
Cumulatively, all cannabis sales in Missouri since 2020 amount to $1.7 billion, according to the DHHS. These figures are, however, approximations, deviating from the conventional reporting format of most states, as Missouri’s DHHS rounds the numbers to the nearest $100,000.
As part of the state’s utilization of tax revenue, lawmakers recently announced the allocation of $17 million to support veterans’ drug treatment, health and legal aid initiatives.
Missouri’s cannabis industry has encountered significant challenges this year, including the recall of thousands of marijuana products due to the alleged illegal use of hemp-derived cannabinoids from outside Missouri. Regulators moved to revoke the business license of Delta Extraction, a company central to the incident. This development raised concerns, particularly regarding practices at product testing labs, which had faced criticism earlier in the year for alleged lab shopping to achieve higher THC potency numbers.
The state, however, rescinded the recall of nearly 15,000 products last month, allowing the products to be returned to dispensary shelves after a storage mandate since early August. The state’s marijuana regulator stated last month that a review of product-tracking records confirmed some recalled marijuana products contained THC sourced exclusively from Missouri’s regulated market.
Moreover, a cannabis retailer, Point Management, operating as Shangri-La, Columbia, recently settled a dispute with a union, resolving 15 charges of unfair labor practices. The settlement mandates the reinstatement of five employees and requires the retailer to compensate more than $145,000 in back pay, front pay, interest and damages for direct or foreseeable financial harm to 10 employees.
In a separate development, legislators criticized the state’s marijuana regulators for exceeding their authority in setting new rules on product branding and packaging aimed at reducing appeal to children.
The booming sales registered in Missouri may depict the broad success that established cannabis companies such as TerrAscend Corp. (TSX: TSND) (OTCQX: TSNDF) are enjoying in the markets in which they operate.
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