In November 2018, Missouri voters approved Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment legalizing the sale and use of medical cannabis, by an overwhelming 66% to 34% margin.
Amendment 2 called for the state to issue 24 dispensary licenses in each of Missouri’s 8 congressional districts, for a total of 192 retail licenses statewide. Given its population of nearly 7 million people, this makes Missouri a “limited license state”, with one retailer for every 35,000 residents.
In addition, Amendment 2 required Missouri to issue 60 cultivation licenses, and 90 manufacturing licenses.l.
In November 2022, a ballot initiative to legalize recreational use of cannabis passed by a 53-47 margin. In December 2022, its possession became legal for adults who are 21 and over. Amendment 3, the Marijuana Legalization, also established a microbusiness program that serves as a pathway for smaller entrepreneurs and businesses to get licensed.
The sale of adult-use cannabis is taxed at 6%, the lowest tax rate in the country.
August 2023 | Proper Brands announced its acquisition of Nirvana Investments
February 2023 | Adult-use sales began
November 2022 | Missouri residents voted to approve adult-use cannabis
May 2022 | Missouri generated $37 million in medical cannabis sales, a monthly record
January 2022 | Missouri recorded more than $200 million in medical cannabis sales in 2021
October 2020 | Medical cannabis sales began
Missouri is one of the fastest growing cannabis markets in the U.S., tracking to exceed well in excess of $1B in total cannabis sales. in 2023. Adult-use sales kicked off February 3rd, unleashing a torrent of demand from both Missourians and citizens of the eight states that it borders.
Suppliers were caught flat footed by the surge in demand, having, in many instances, cut back production in what was an anemic medical market. In fact, insiders estimate that only x% of the state's allowable canopy (1.8 million sq. ft.) has been constructed and not all of that was operational at the time of adult-use. As such, retailers are scrambling to keep their shelves stocked as suppliers quickly ramp back up production.
We believe the regulatory framework in Missouri was designed favorably for participants across the supply chain. With a little over 200 retailers open across the state, and about 80 considered for the social equity licenses, retail pricing . With only 60 licensed cultivators, capped at 30,000 sq. ft. of canopy, we are unlikely to see the intense downward pricing pressure that we have seen in more open license markets such as Michigan and California. Moreover, in addition to robust in-state-demand, the states' attractive sales tax, coupled with the conservative state governments boarding Missouri, the state will continue to be one of the strongest operating enviornments in the country.
Based on the recent moves from the market leaders, it is clear that the play is to build through acquisition and to build verticals with retail distribution to get to the allowable cap.
While there is no explicit limit, the state does not continually issue licenses.