ST. LOUIS – According to Lisa Cox, Communications Director for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, enrollment in Missouri’s new medical marijuana program is continuing at a pace of nearly 1,000 new patients each week
As of Monday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) reports approving a total of 21,739 medical cannabis patient and caregiver applications since enrollment began in late June — with another nearly 2,000 applications pending review.
Those numbers are only expected to increase once the state awards the nearly 350 available operating licenses to cultivate, manufacture and dispense medical cannabis in Missouri.
Those cultivation, infused product manufacturing and retail dispensary licenses are expected be issued as soon as the end of next month, with the first retail sales expected in late spring 2020. Nearly 2,300 applications have been filed for those licenses.
Organizers of the 2018 Missouri ballot initiative that grants a patient’s right to medical cannabis in the state Constitution estimated that between 125,000 and 150,000 Missourians would enroll in the program, or roughly 2 percent of the state’s 6.1 million residents.
A MoCannTrade representative pointed out that at the current rate of patient and caregiver enrollment, the predicted third-year count of 26,000 participants in the Missouri University study (published last April) will be eclipsed by Christmas.
Under Article XIV of the state Constitution, which voters approved in November 2018, Missouri residents with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma and 20 other qualifying conditions can purchase or cultivate medical cannabis with a physician’s certification.
The new law also provides physicians with the discretion to certify patients who have other chronic and debilitating medical conditions that could benefit from medical marijuana.
MoCannTrade (Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association) is an association of business owners, health care providers, professionals, patients and community leaders responsible for helping to implement a successful, safe and compliant medical marijuana program in Missouri.
To learn more about MoCannTrade please visit mocanntrade.org