Missouri has approved 335 locations to begin selling recreational marijuana as early as today. The approvals are in response to Missouri voters passing Amendment 3 last November.
The ballot measure allows adults over the age of 21 to have up to three ounces of cannabis. It also lets Missourians apply for registration cards to grow marijuana plants at home.
Jason Nelson, CEO of Swade Cannabis in St. Louis, said the growth of the cannabis industry can benefit Missouri’s economy.
“(Taxes) they are functionally less than Illinois taxes on similar/same products, but that’s a functional tax base increase,” according to Nelson. “Those funds are targeted to things like veterans’ healthcare, certainly substance abuse treatment, and local defender support. At the end of the day, the goal of any of these outcomes is to make sure that you are dispersing this benefit not only to us as an operator, but more predominantly to the communities that we operate in.”
The tax rate for adult-use marijuana sales will be 6%, with local governments being able to add a 3% sales tax.
Nelson hopes that with the rollout of recreational cannabis, the stigma associated with marijuana use can stop.
He wants cannabis shops to conduct community outreach efforts to get to know the community’s needs and concerns. In addition, he hopes the business will help further define the industry and its relationship to Missouri residents.
“Generally, over time, most people, whether they have interest in cannabis at all, will meet somebody in their sphere that has a medical condition that was prescribed cannabis that actually felt some value or benefit to it,” Nelson added. “I think that, above anything else really starts to offset the stigma. What we need to do is essentially serve as an effective, both community partner and steward of normalizing cannabis.”
Click here for more information about Missouri’s program.
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