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Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Missouri on Friday

Daniel Neman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in News & Features

ST. LOUIS — Adult-use, recreational cannabis can be sold in Missouri dispensaries beginning Friday, giving consumers an unexpected boost to their weekend plans.

Expectations throughout the industry had been that the licenses required to sell non-medical cannabis would not be issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services until Monday.

But the department threw a curve Thursday afternoon, announcing that it would issue licenses on Friday to the dispensaries that qualified for them. As soon as a dispensary receives its license, it can begin selling marijuana to anyone older than 21.

Area dispensaries said they are ready for the expected crowds.

"There was an inkling from the state that it could have the potential to go early on Friday," said Laurie Gregory, chief marketing officer of Good Day Farm, an Arkansas-based grower, manufacturer and dispensary with several area locations.

"It's been day by day and moment by moment," she said. "We're waiting, we're prepping, we're ready."


Recreational-use marijuana will initially be sold only at already-existing medical-use dispensaries. State health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox said at least 170 of these dispensaries statewide are eligible for licenses Friday, which will be given to any store in good standing with the department.

"Good standing means the license is not suspended, revoked, or otherwise inactive at the time the request is made," she said.

Greenlight dispensaries, with 15 locations across the state, have been spending about $7 million or $8 million on improvements "to make sure we can efficiently handle the adult-use consumer" and not isolate the medical-marijuana patients that built its business, said CEO John Mueller.

New pickup windows have been installed in the lobbies and separate lines will be established to handle the returning medical marijuana patients.


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