Missouri Cannabis Sales Could Hit $300M During First Few Years

If Missouri voters approve legalization this November, the state’s adult-use cannabis industry could generate between $250 million and $300 million in sales during its first few years.

Full story after the jump.

Missouri’s adult-use cannabis industry could generate between $250 million and $300 million in sales during the first few years of sales, according to Beau Whitney of Whitney Economics, who also estimates the state industry could grow to $800 million and $900 million by 2025 as individuals shift from the unregulated market to the regulated market.

“Consumers are extremely price sensitive when it comes to cannabis purchases. But they’re willing to pay a premium to do things in the legal market, just as long as that premium is not excessive. The sweet spot really is 10 to 15% premium above the illicit market price.” — Whitney to KCTV5 

If the sales reach those initial projections, Whitney said, the state would reap about $81 million in taxes over the first few years alone.

Currently, the unregulated cannabis trade in Missouri is worth about $2 billion, the report says. 

Missouri voters in November are set to decide whether to legalize cannabis for adult use and internal polling by advocacy groups suggests the reforms will pass. Separately, a SurveyUSA poll released in May found 62% of Missourians back the reforms, including 76% of Democrats (14% opposed), 49% of Republicans (38% opposed), and 66% of independent voters (20% opposed). 

The initiative has received pushback, though, from a coalition backed by Democratic state Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove who argues that “people from politicians to Bob on the street didn’t know the details” on the proposed constitutional amendment, which she described as exploitative. The organization, Canna Reform Coalition, also counts members of cannabis businesses as its backers. The group is criticizing the proposed constitutional amendment for not offering social equity provisions and for civil penalties included in the question, including a $100 fine for smoking cannabis in public.

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