More than 100,000 Past, Nonviolent Cannabis Offenses Have Also Been Automatically Expunged so Far in 2023

In the first 11 months of 2023, Missouri dispensaries have sold $1,215,100,000 of legal marijuana in the state of Missouri, including $930 million of adult use sales and $285 million of medical marijuana sales, according to Missouri’s Division of Cannabis Regulations. Feb. 3, 2023, was Missouri’s historic first day of adult use sales and the state has sold nearly $4 million of legal cannabis per day on average since then. MoCannTrade, the cannabis trade association in Missouri, estimates 2023 total cannabis sales in Missouri will surpass $1.3 billion, despite having only medical cannabis sales the first month of 2023.

According to an article in MJBizDaily, four U.S. states began adult use sales at some point during 2023, with Missouri sales so far surpassing the other three, including Maryland, New York and Connecticut. Missouri’s estimated $1.3 billion in 2023 total sales also surpassed the first year of sales in neighboring Illinois, which has twice the population of Missouri. Illinois adult use sales began on Jan. 1, 2020, and combined medical and adult use sales totaled $1,000,380,800 that first year in the Land of Lincoln.

In November 2022, Missouri became the first state in the nation to automatically expunge past, nonviolent marijuana charges by a vote of the people. Already in 2023, more than 100,000 past, Missouri cannabis offenses have been automatically expunged, with that number continuing to rise. Part of the 6% sales tax Missourians pay on adult use cannabis sales goes to fund these automatic expungements.

“In so many ways 2023 has been a historic and unprecedented year for the Missouri cannabis industry,” said Andrew Mullins, MoCannTrade Executive Director. “From $1.3 billion in annual cannabis sales, to nearly 19,000 Missourians now directly employed in the industry, to generating more than $100 million in cannabis taxes and fees, the economic benefits of legalizing cannabis in Missouri have exceeded expectations. But these benefits also extend to reforming our criminal justice system in Missouri. The fact that more than 100,000 past, nonviolent cannabis offenses have already been automatically expunged and that part of the 6% tax Missourians pay on adult use cannabis sales funds these second chances, is groundbreaking and we believe a model for the rest of the country.”

Missouri has now created 18,843 direct jobs in the cannabis industry, compared to only 9,838 jobs the month before the 2022 legalization vote. Unlike other states including Michigan, where the vast majority of the more than 1,500 municipalities have opted not to allow adult use sales, communities across Missouri are embracing having the economic benefits of Missouri’s newest $1 billion industry as part of the local economy. In April and August, voters in hundreds of cities and counties across Missouri almost universally voted in support of local marijuana taxes on sales in their communities. Consequently, customers in Missouri have much better access to the over 212 dispensaries situated in all corners of Missouri compared to most other states where dispensaries are often clustered in a few communities, leaving large swaths of the state without access.

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MoCannTrade (The Missouri Cannabis Trade Association) is an association of business owners, professionals, patients and consumers responsible for helping to implement successful, safe, compliant medical and adult use cannabis programs in Missouri.

The membership-based association is directed by a board of diverse professionals experienced in cannabis production and retail, healthcare, law, pharma, science, agriculture, law enforcement and security, finance, public affairs and regulatory sectors.

To learn more about MoCannTrade please visit www.mocanntrade.org

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