Medical-use cannabis was approved in 2018. Operators are limited to three cultivation, three manufacturing, and five retail licenses. Missouri is broken into eight congressional districts with 24 retail licenses permitted per district for a total of 192 retail licenses statewide.
A recent federal lawsuit filed by a Pennsylvania cannabis investor, lifted the requirement that medical cannabis licenses be reserved for businesses majority owned by state residents, opening the Missouri market to out-of-state operators.
Curbside pick-up is not permitted for retailers in this state, therefore retailers with a drive-thru have an advantage in this car-friendly state. In late July 2021, Missouri regulators announced medical-use dispensaries cannot advertise sales events or product discounts, prompting immediate backlash from the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association (MoCannTrade).
Industry regulators are writing the rules for adult-use legalization rumored to be on the 2022 ballot, as the initiative would have had sufficient signatures to be on the 2020 ballot were it not for COVID. The state is poised for adult-use legalization with a proven strong medical market out of the gates. The state will largely benefit from the residents in the neighboring eight border states with more stringent cannabis laws once adult-use sales are permitted.
There is no notable activity at this time.
MMJ patients rushed to get their licenses before retail even opened proving high-demand in the market. Cannabis activists have filed four separate initiatives to put cannabis reform on the state's 2022 ballot.
With well established market demand, the market is experiencing a product shortage as cultivation and product manufacturing continues to ramp up. Private operators have had trouble accessing capital given the state's residency requirement and nascent cannabis industry. MSOs were largely boxed out, but many are looking to enter the state via joint ventures or other structures to work around the residency issue. Investors who back proven operators and get to market soon should do well in the Show Me State.