Springfield, MO – A recent study projects Missouri will need 115 to 132 medical marijuana dispensaries by 2022.
University of Missouri Economics professor and author of the study, Dr. Joseph Haslag, said the presence of medical marijuana presents challenges for our state.
“Particular, in the state of Missouri, having a legal medical market and an illegal recreational market creates an issue,” said Dr. Haslag. “The issue deals with product that’s legal being diverted into the illegal market.”
Haslag said based on grower activity in Colorado, Missouri will need 24 to 29 cultivators in 2022.
However, Haslag said he was shocked by the lack of data available from other states who allow medical marijuana.
“As an economist, one of the things you want to start with is this idea that price and quantity are probably good indicators to help you assess what’s going on in a market,” said Dr. Haslag. “I could get some quantity data, but price data was just almost non-existent.”
Missouri’s Medical Cannabis Trade Associaton said while its organization applauds Haslag’s efforts, it feel his findings do not reflect the current need for access to medical marijuana.
“Oklahoma has already passed two percent of the population with medical cards and they’ve only had an industry for eight months,” said Chip Sheppard of Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association. “We think that’s a lot better comparison because we have a broad law and so does Oklahoma.”
Sheppard said Missouri’s Second Amendment Law mandates 24 medical marijuana dispensaries per Congressional District.
“That should mean for Springfield being a medical hub, anywhere from 6 to 12 dispensaries,” said Sheppard.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services anticipates medical marijuana being available for purchase as early as January of 2020.