You can now buy recreational marijuana legally in Missouri

Sales went live Friday morning, a few days earlier than expected.
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 9:47 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2023 at 7:45 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Missouri dispensaries were scrambling Thursday when they found out they could start selling for non-medical use as early as Friday. They all initially expected that would not happen until Monday.

State regulators made the announcement Thursday afternoon. By Friday morning, several dispensaries went live with recreational marijuana sales in the Kansas City metro.

Greenlight Dispensary CEO John Mueller said things got hectic, but in a good way.

“It’s, like, all of a sudden. This is like a 420 event for us, which is like our Super Bowl of the cannabis industry,” Mueller said. “And so, all of a sudden, it’s kind of sprung on you two days earlier. So, if we’re like the Chiefs going to the Super Bowl, we’re trying to scramble and play the game a few days early.”

At their dispensary at 135th and State Line, staff were testing out the new mobile order kiosks they got to cut down on time in line.

They have a drive-thru pickup window, like what you see at pharmacies, which handles about half of their medical orders. They got a second speaker added. The only thing left to do was to get extra shelves installed to line up the orders. That, and to call in a lot more people to work on Friday than they anticipated.

“Everybody is going to be working a lot of overtime now,” he remarked.

He doesn’t expect any problem with increasing the amount of product on hand. After all, it’s only three days ahead of schedule. Plus, Greenlight has its own cultivation and manufacturing facilities nearby.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the agency tasked with regulating the industry, sent a news release indicating that nearly every medical dispensary submitted an application to convert to adult use. The DHSS said 90% of those submitted their application on the Dec. 8, the first day they were able to do so.

Adult use of cannabis was approved by a statewide vote as an amendment to the state constitution.

“In order to ensure all systems and processes are working as planned ahead of the Feb. 6 constitutional deadline,” the news release read, “the Division of Cannabis Regulation within DHSS will begin approving conversion requests on Friday, Feb. 3.”

An email sent to dispensaries said the approvals (or denials) would come via email. The emails won’t be en masse, but in stages throughout the day.

There will be about 200 places waiting to see when it pops into their inbox.

“Greenlight added 80 new people to our Greenlight family to get ready for this,” Mueller noted. “The entire industry pushed forward to to make this happen, and so, now all of a sudden, a few days earlier. That’s a gift”

With adult use, you do not need to be a Missouri resident. You only need to be 21 or older and have a valid ID. However, you are not legally permitted to consume it outside of the state (Missouri). You also aren’t allowed to consume it in public.

Reporter Joe Hennessy was live Friday morning with Local Cannabis Company, at 45th Street and Belleview Avenue near the Country Club Plaza, as they got ready to open up and begin marijuana sales: