Less than two months since recreational marijuana sales launched in Missouri, a shortage has emerged, causing prices to skyrocket.
KCTV 5 reported that cultivators have struggled to meet the overwhelming demand, resulting in higher costs of production for manufacturers and steeper prices for consumers at dispensaries.
A major factor contributing to the surge in demand is the influx of customers from Missouri’s eight contiguous states, only one of which has legalized recreational use. In the Kansas City area alone, around 40% of all cannabis dollars spent come from neighboring Kansas counties. As a result, marijuana product prices are expected to increase by 50% to 60%.
It may be until July before the market sees any relief from price increases, as cannabis plants typically take four months to flower and bud, meaning additional supply will not be available until current plantings are mature.
Dispensaries in Missouri sold nearly $71.7 million worth of recreational marijuana in their first month, a milestone that took Illinois almost a year to reach.
Missouri benefits from a retail presence that grew out of its medical cannabis market and a smooth compliance process, and while cities and counties have the option to opt out, the public must vote for the decision rather than leave it up to city or county officials alone.
Around 3% of Missourians are currently enrolled in the medical program. The number of consumers in the market for adult use is projected to rise to about 10% of the state’s population or 600,000 people – although consumption is notoriously understated.