The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has allocated $13 million from Missouri’s medical marijuana program to the Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC). This contribution is the fifth of its kind, bringing the total funds transferred to $39,978,820 since the inception of the medical program in late 2018.
Furthermore, DHSS has redirected $3,836,919 from Missouri’s adult-use marijuana program to various agencies as specified in Article XIV, Section 2, of the Missouri Constitution. The breakdown of the allocations from the adult-use program is as follows:
- MVC received $1,278,973, designated strictly for healthcare and other services for military veterans and their families.
- Missouri State Public Defender was granted $1,278,973, intended solely for providing legal assistance to low-income Missourians.
- DHSS obtained $1,278,973 to manage a grant program for increasing access to evidence-based, low-barrier drug addiction treatment. The emphasis is on medically proven treatment and overdose prevention, as well as reintegration of individuals into their local communities, overdose prevention education, and support for job placement, housing, and counseling for those with substance use disorders.
In November 2018, Missourians cast their votes in favor of Constitutional Amendment 2, now recognized as Article XIV, Section 1. This amendment mandates that, after subtracting operational costs, the revenue from medical marijuana sales, taxed at a state rate of 4%, be contributed to the MVC for veterans’ health and care services.
Following that, in November 2022, Missouri voters passed a further amendment. This new provision, subtracting the costs for program operations and responsibilities pertaining to the expungement of criminal history records, requires that revenues from the adult-use marijuana program, taxed at a state rate of 6%, also be directed to MVC, Missouri State Public Defender, and DHSS for the previously mentioned purposes.
Amy Moore, Director of the Division of Cannabis Regulation at DHSS, expressed her amazement at the rapid progress, stating, “It is incredible that Missouri voters passed the adult-use amendment less than one year ago, and we are now starting to see the financial impact the program’s success will have on multiple organizations and the Missourians they serve.”
Adding to this sentiment, MVC Executive Director Paul Kirchhoff remarked on the beneficial impact of these funds, emphasizing their role in sustaining the current framework of the state’s seven Veterans Homes.
The DHSS has confirmed that these financial transfers will be conducted annually.