Missourians signing up at rapid pace for medical marijuana

Nearly 22,000 people have signed up in the initial five months

Michael Calhoun
December 02, 2019 - 10:21 am
marijuana dispensary

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- Missourians are signing up for medical marijuana cards at a pace of about one thousand a week.

Nearly 22,000 people have signed up in the initial five months to be either medical marijuana patients or caregivers.

The program technically starts next month, although dispensaries aren't expected to open until a few months into the new year.

At that point, Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association spokesman Alan Zagier expects even more to sign up.

"Once people see buildings and signage and are aware that there's a physical presence in their communities," he said, "that's only going to drive more visibility and attention and awareness of the program."

The pace right now is about a thousand new patients a week, which has already overtaken enrollment estimates by Mizzou researchers. They'd predicted that 19,000 patients would sign up by the end of 2020.

Even those with permission, though, will still have to wait for product to purchase.

"Once those licenses are issued, there's the required start-up time for businesses to get up-and-running, and, of course, with cultivation for the growing cycle to commence, so we anticipate it'll be late spring or early summer before retail dispenaries are open," he said.

Zagier says all of the marijuana sold in Missouri must be grown in Missouri, so no bringing in product from neighboring states like Illinois if there's a shortage.

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