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Missouri Launches Recreational Cannabis Sales: What You Need to Know

Cannabis
February 16, 2023

Introduction to Missouri Cannabis Laws 

Earlier this month, recreational cannabis sales began in Missouri, and expectations are that this brand-new market could generate over $500m in sales during its first year. In fact, according to some estimates, over the next four years the Missouri cannabis market has the potential to reach $800 - $900 million annually. Missouri medical cannabis sales currently bring in $40 million a month, and estimates show that with the addition of adult-use numbers the state may soon see nearly $100 million in monthly sales. 

One reason there are high expectations for legal Missouri cannabis sales is the state’s centralized location in the Midwest. Missouri borders eight other states, with several possessing only medical markets or no legal cannabis sales at all. In November 2022, voters in Missouri passed a ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for recreational use. The first legal Missouri cannabis transactions at dispensaries started on February 3rd. The state previously legalized medical cannabis in 2018 with the first sales beginning in October 2020. 

Unlike other states starting off recreational sales, Missouri has seen about 97% of its medical dispensaries apply for expanded licenses to participate in recreational sales. Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services’s deadline to approve comprehensive retail license applications was February 6th — creating one of the shortest transitions of any state’s recreational cannabis launch. 

Missouri is a limited license state and with close to 200 retailers already active, the vertically-integrated market appears settled for now. However, an additional 144 licenses for “microbusinesses” must be issued by October 3rd, 2024.

Big Changes in Store for Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in Missouri

Across the state, dispensaries that previously sold only medical cannabis, are gearing up for the changes the market will see now that recreational cannabis is legal in Missouri. The state health department estimates that at least 170 dispensaries statewide are eligible for licenses, and stated that licenses are to be awarded to all stores in good standing with the department.

Greenlight dispensaries operate 15 locations across Missouri and have invested close to $8 million on store improvements. In addition to adding new pickup windows and drive-thru windows, Greenlight intends to create priority lines for its returning medical cannabis patients. The new renovations will ensure more efficiency for the influx of adult-use consumers without alienating existing medical cannabis patients. The company has also added around 80 employees to handle increased business, showing a rising demand for Missouri cannabis jobs – half of the new staff will work in dispensaries while the other half are in cultivation and production roles. For workers in the cannabis space, right now is certainly the time to be on the lookout for new cannabis jobs in Missouri.  

Offer Customers Flexible Buying Options with Aeropay

While dispensaries in Missouri make renovations in anticipation of a new wave of consumers, it’s vital to also stay on top of trending payment options. Most customers are tired of using cash to checkout at dispensaries. The rise of digital payments has led many consumers to seek out the most convenient services while selecting where to shop. Contactless payments continue to rise in popularity and evolve through new implementation methods. Within the cannabis industry, there has also been an important shift towards making sure payments are compliant.   

Thankfully, Aeropay is a secure payment system that keeps business owners and customers safe. Aeropay’s mission is to provide a fully transparent cannabis payment system that will help dispensaries get the same levels of protection provided in more established industries. Integrating Aeropay’s contactless ACH payments into retail operations allows businesses to keep thorough records, further legitimizing the rapidly growing cannabis industry by preventing money laundering and tax evasion.   

Integrated eCommerce solutions like Aeropay are compliant and come with strategies embedded to help increase sales while retaining customers. Aeropay gives your dispensary seamless integration with other eCommerce platforms which equals more options to make sales. ACH payments via Aeropay allow customers to make secure and cashless payments in-store using just their mobile devices. With a simple QR code and bank sign-in process, Aeropay keeps payments simple while eliminating tiresome customer fees. Like a built-in sales assistant, Aeropay aids dispensaries by allowing dispensaries to offer discounts, prioritize online payments, offer cashless and contactless payments and invest in customer loyalty. 

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