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

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

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With legal recreational cannabis reaching a record-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. The all-time total in legal marijuana sales is now $1.94 billion 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 companies in the industry say recreational marijuana had a huge impact on annual revenue numbers.

While declining to disclose figures, Mark Hendren, president of Humansville-based Flora Farms LLC, said the company’s year-over-year revenue was up roughly 200% over 2022. Flora Farms recorded $30 million in revenue in 2022, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

Recreational marijuana’s impact also was notable for Easy Mountain Cannabis Co., which operates a dispensary in Republic. Co-owner Alex Paulson said revenue for his business increased around 350% over 2022, which was its first full year in operation. The dispensary opened in early 2021.

“At the beginning of 2023, we had hopes for recreational marijuana. It far exceeded our expectations,” Paulson said. “As a locally owned shop, we were just kind of staying in our lane and focused on serving our community. We’re glad to see a bunch of surrounding communities support us. With less laws, we see less and less stigma in general, so more and more people are patronizing pretty consistently.”

Hendren said Flora Farms is celebrating one-year anniversaries this weekend at all its dispensaries in recognition of when recreational marijuana sales began. The company’s dispensary count expanded to five in August when it opened a storefront in Lee’s Summit, near Kansas City. It also moved another of its dispensaries to a larger location in Pineville from Neosho. The Pineville store is roughly a mile from the Arkansas border.

Hendren hinted last April about the company’s planned dispensary activity at a Springfield Business Journal 12 People You Need to Know event. Its other dispensaries are in Springfield, Ozark and Humansville.

Flora Farms is building its sixth store in Hollister after Hendren said the company acquired another dispensary license last year. Hendren didn’t disclose the cost for the license or startup costs but told SBJ last year that dispensary licenses sell for a price north of $2 million.

Noting Flora Farms currently employs 300 at its stores and Humansville cultivation facility, Hendren said he expects the Hollister dispensary likely will require another 40 employees. The store will be at 165 Hollister Parkway, near Bass Pro Shops property Angler’s Lodge.

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

Paulson said recreational marijuana sales made an immediate impact for Easy Mountain, as the company set a monthly sales record in February 2023 of roughly 300% more than its previous high. He declined to disclose figures but said that record was short-lived.

“We broke that monthly record probably seven months in a row,” he said, adding the company now employs 20, an all-time high.

Local officials say the statewide sales performance of the marijuana industry isn’t surprising. However, Paulson said the rate at which adult-use sales has grown was a bit ahead of his expectations.

“I thought our state was capable of a billion-dollar market,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to be its very first year, and I didn’t expect us to exceed it.”


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