Missouri patient and caregiver applications increase more than 60 percent as dispensaries open statewide

The continuing rollout of retail medical cannabis sales across Missouri appears to be fueling a new surge in prospective patient and caregiver interest, state records show.

On Monday, the state Department of Health and Senior Services reported approving nearly 70,000 patients and caregivers — with another 17,000-plus application (including those deactivated or that expired without renewal) pending review.

The six weeks since the state’s first sale of medical cannabis by St. Louis County dispensary N’Bliss on Oct. 17 have seen a weekly average of more than 1,600 new patient and caregiver applications to the state.

By comparison, the state had received roughly 1,000 such new applications each week since the program’s June 2019 start. Excluding the shortened holiday week of Thanksgiving, the short-term increase tops 70 percent.

As of Wednesday, Nov. 25, the state had approved 30 medical cannabis businesses for operation, including 16 retail dispensaries and 10 cultivation sites. Another 35 businesses are awaiting final state inspections.

All Open Dispensaries in Missouri

All those numbers should soon be bolstered by several infused-product manufacturers who anticipate receiving their final state approval in the coming days, Mullins said.

“That could mean the arrival of a host of new products on dispensary shelves by year’s end, from gummies, infused chocolates and other marijuana edibles to….

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