Call it "recreational," "rec" or "adult-use" — Missouri could be the next state to legalize marijuana.
In Kansas City and St. Louis over the past week, organizers of the Legal Missouri 2022 ballot initiative petition kicked off a campaign that, if authorized by Missouri voters, would allow any adult 21 or older to purchase cannabis products for any reason.
Recreational cannabis represents a huge business opportunity: In states that have already transitioned from medical-only marijuana systems to ones that include recreational sales for adults, industry revenues have typically expanded five-fold, said David Brodsky, director of retail at The Farmer's Wife dispensaries in southern Missouri. Brodsky also worked as a Colorado cannabis entrepreneur for much of the 2010s, and he said the pattern held up there, after adult-use sales were legalized in 2012.
To date, retail dispensaries in Missouri have racked up $186.1 million in sales since lawful transactions began in mid-October 2020, state health department records show.
Most observers see little appetite for marijuana reform advancing through the Republican-dominated Missouri legislature, so advocates have worked through the initiative petition system.
How would Legal Missouri 2022's measure change Missouri marijuana?
Missouri's existing medical marijuana system, adopted with a 65-percent voter majority in 2018, would remain in place if legalization becomes part of the Missouri constitution.
But the medical program would be modified: Marijuana patient ID cards would be valid for three years, rather than one year, and the state fee for a card would be set around $25.
Nurse practitioners, along with physicians, would be allowed to issue patient recommendations for medical marijuana ID cards. Campaign manager John Payne told the News-Leader in a Friday interview that this aspect would likely drive down the cost of the recommendations, often priced at $100 or more.
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