Missouri did not launch medical cannabis sales until Oct. 16, 2020, but a report released earlier this month revealed the extent to which licensed patients were lined up for access.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) issued 56,448 new patient licenses and 12,062 renewed patient licenses between Dec. 6, 2019, and Dec. 5, 2020, according to the department’s second annual report of the Missouri Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program.
The DHSS approved 23,000-plus patients and caregivers in program year 2019—before commercial sales began—with roughly 33% also approved to home cultivate. That year, Missouri home cultivators were comprised of 7,276 patients and 298 caregivers.
But with the state’s first medical cannabis sales launching this past October, the number of approved patients grew by roughly 200% during 2020. In addition, approved caregivers grew from 563 to 2,146, and home cultivators grew from 7,574 to 19,831.
DHSS is required by law to annually submit a report to the governor regarding the efficient discharge of its responsibilities.
“It is an honor to be a part of the great success of this new medical industry in Missouri,” Lyndall Fraker, director of the section of medical cannabis within the DHSS, said in a news release Aug. 19, when the second annual report was published.
“I continue to be amazed at how hard our team is working in order to help our facilities provide this alternative medicine for the state’s fast growing patient base,” he said. “Our goal is to provide a safe, well-regulated and patient-focused program second to none in our great nation. Our success undeniably proves we have accomplished this goal in a timely manner, meeting all of our constitutional obligations as decided by the citizens of the great state of Missouri.”
Sixty-five percent of Missouri