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Old Route 66 Wellness co-owner John Lopez, right, discusses the early days of Missouri’s medical marijuana system in an interview with SBJ Editor Eric Olson.
SBJ photo by Christine Temple
Old Route 66 Wellness co-owner John Lopez, right, discusses the early days of Missouri’s medical marijuana system in an interview with SBJ Editor Eric Olson.

Cannabis entrepreneur makes bold sales prediction in Missouri

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Medical marijuana entrepreneur John Lopez estimates sales statewide will more than double projections from the Marijuana Business Factbook published by Marijuana Business Daily.

Lopez, co-owner of the Old Route 66 Wellness dispensary on North Glenstone Avenue, delivered the estimate while discussing the early days of his new business venture for Springfield Business Journal's 12 People You Need to Know live interview series. The interview with SBJ Editor Eric Olson was livestreamed on Facebook.

"I think we're going to hit the $1 billion market at probably the three-year mark," Lopez said.

Comparatively, the 2020 Marijuana Business Factbook predicts $325 million-$400 million in medical marijuana sales in 2022.

Lopez compares the medical markets in Missouri and Oklahoma, where sales were expected to exceed $700 million in 2020, according to Marijuana Business Factbook data.

While Oklahoma does not have a cap on the number of dispensaries that can operate – compared with 192 in Missouri – Lopez said more patients were licensed on the first day, around 60,000, in the Show-Me State. KOKH in Oklahoma City reported in February 2019 that roughly 52,000 patients had applied after the state’s medical marijuana program launched in 2018. There were more than 367,000 active patient licenses as of Jan. 5, according to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

Additionally, Lopez said Missouri voters approved medical marijuana by a 2%-3% margin above that of Oklahoma.

"Any dispensary that gets product sells out of it," Lopez said of the new Missouri industry. "Whatever is grown gets sold, and there's not much being grown right now."

However, he said product should become plentiful enough by March that Old Route 66 can open full time. Since becoming the first Springfield dispensary to open, in November, he said the store has only been open for about 10 days due to shortages in product and high demand.

Next up for Old Route 66 is a dispensary in Ozark, which Lopez expects to have up and running by early April.

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