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On the Job: Record-setting December sends Missouri marijuana sales over $1.3B

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Hiring Happenings

Employers are on tap or invited to participate in some area job and career fairs:

  • Missouri State University Job and Internship Career Fair

Feb. 28

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Plaster Student Union at MSU, 1110 E. Madison St.

The event is open to all MSU students and alumni seeking full-time job and internship opportunities. CoxHealth and FORVIS LLP are a few of the companies expected to be in attendance.

  • Taney County Career Days

March 5-7

Times vary by day

Hollister High School, March 5; Branson High School, March 6; Forsyth High School, March 7

Taney County Partnership is seeking numerous industry sector representatives for the three-day event designed to introduce and educate students about various career paths available in the marketplace. Employers are being asked to sign up for all three days by Feb. 29. Call the organization at 417-243-2126 or email Executive Director Jonas Arjes at jarjes@taneycountypartnership.com for more information.

Record-setting December sends Missouri marijuana sales over $1.3B

Marijuana sales in Missouri are nearing the $2 billion mark since the industry launched in 2020 | SBJ file photo

With legal recreational cannabis reaching a state record monthly high of $106.5 million sold in December, Missouri marijuana sales exceeded $1.3 billion for 2023.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services data show December hit $123.3 million in adult-use and medical marijuana sales. Adult-use sales accounted for the lion’s share of marijuana sales for the year, finishing at roughly $1.04 billion, while medical cannabis brought in around $302.2 million.

It’s hefty sales data for the young industry, which has now accrued $1.94 billion in legal marijuana sales since the medical market first launched in 2020.

The previous monthly record for adult-use cannabis sales was in July, when retailers reported $98.7 million. Adult-use marijuana became legal to sell in the state last February after receiving voter approval in November 2022.

Local industry players I spoke with recently said annual revenue for their companies exceeded expectations – and they already were projecting strong growth. While neither Mark Hendren, president of Humansville-based Flora Farms LLC, nor Alex Paulson, co-owner of Republic’s Easy Mountain Cannabis Co., wanted to disclose figures, both said year-over-year revenue in 2023 was up significantly. Flora Farms revenue jumped roughly 200% while Easy Mountain rose around 350% on the ability to sell recreationally.

Applying some math, Flora Farms likely landed around $60 million, after Hendren previously told Springfield Business Journal the company’s revenue was $30 million in 2022.

Flora Farms, which is vertically integrated in the marijuana industry, operates cultivation and manufacturing facilities along with five dispensaries in the state. It opened a storefront last summer in Lee’s Summit, near Kansas City, and moved another of its dispensaries to a larger location in Pineville from Neosho. The Pineville store is roughly a mile from the Arkansas border. Adult-use marijuana remains illegal in Arkansas, although voters approved legalizing medical cannabis in 2016. Hendren said the company doesn’t track which states its customers come from, but you could presume that store sees a fair share of vehicles with Arkansas license plates.

The company’s sixth store is now under construction in Hollister, as Hendren said the company acquired another dispensary license last year. He didn’t disclose the costs for the license or startup but told SBJ last year that dispensary licenses sell for a price north of $2 million.

The Hollister store, which Hendren said is expected to employ around 40 people, will be at 165 Hollister Parkway, near Bass Pro Shops property Angler’s Lodge.

“I’m pushing hard to be open by 4/20,” he said, in reference to an unofficial holiday for marijuana enthusiasts.

Expanding the dispensary count is in addition to Flora Farms growing its cultivation facility in Humansville. Company officials watched adult-use sales for a few months before deciding to add another 80,000 square feet to its operations. That’s in addition to the cultivation facility’s roughly 120,000 square feet it occupies among two buildings.

“We’ve got room to grow a lot,” he said, referring to available space in the new addition. “That building, we’re using a more efficient lighting called LED as opposed to a high-pressure sodium lighting we used in our first building and in our second building. We think it’s going to be more efficient.”

Open for Business Extras

As I compile our publication’s Open for Business section, there are frequently some interesting details that don’t make the final cut because of space constraints, among other reasons. Here’s a couple recent examples:

Kimberly & Co.
The desire to own her own business that focuses on fashion led Maranda Kimberly to start an e-commerce venture, Kimberly & Co. LLC, in 2018. By 2022, she began renting out space inside C&C Boutique at Battlefield Mall. But realizing she needed more space last year, Kimberly didn’t have to look any farther than the shopping mall to find her own storefront. The mother of five told me working full time is hard when trying to raise a family, noting her husband, Aaron, active duty in the Missouri Army National Guard, encouraged her vision for the Nashville-themed boutique and tackled all the infill work to bring it to life. Kimberly said the shop marks the first time she’s ever overseen employees but added she couldn’t be happier she took the leap.

Springfield Mercantile Co.
If not for her daughter playing softball a few years ago, Springfield Mercantile Co.’s new owner Katie Shelton might have never become friends with Molly Brown, who owned the Commercial Street shop at the time. That social connection led to a business one last year when Brown sold the company to Shelton. It was a first-time brick-and-mortar ownership venture for Shelton, who said she plans to increase the inventory of handmade items in the store. Shelton told me she’s excited to have a trio of industrial sewing machines in the back of the building, which she intends to use to craft products and provide lessons to others. Additionally, she plans to stay active in the music scene via The Mixtapes, the 1990s-era cover band she owns with her husband, Johnny. Just like her crafting skills, Shelton’s musical talents are wide-ranging, as she sings and plays keyboards, guitar and accordion for the band.

Contact Mike Cullinan
Phone: 417-616-5851
Email: mcullinan@sbj.net

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