ST. LOUIS –
The decision by Missouri voters to expand legal access to cannabis in the state will deliver a healthy boost to the economy in 2023 as it enables cannabis operators to further refine their roles as community leaders, according to Jason Nelson, CEO of Swade Cannabis. The expected growth of Missouri’s cannabis industry will come at a time when many regulated markets are experiencing economic challenges mostly attributed to the lack of progress in federal cannabis reform legislation and inflation impact on personal discretionary income, according to Nelson.
Passage of Amendment 3 to accelerate industry growth
According to MoCannTrade, the cannabis industry was responsible for one of every 10 new jobs created in Missouri in 2022. As adult sales commence early in 2023, cannabis businesses across Missouri will be expanding operations and hiring to meet the expected demand. According to industry analyst firm BDSA, adult-use sales of cannabis in Missouri will reach $277 million in its first year, with a total market revenue projection at $730 million for 2023. Currently there are approximately 208,000 Missouri patients utilizing medicinal cannabis, which is about 3% of the state’s population. But the number of cannabis consumers in the state is expected to swell to 600,000 under adult use, roughly 10% of the population.
“There is no question that Amendment 3’s impact will be beneficial for Missouri workers. Swade alone anticipates its staffing needs will increase between 35-45% prior to recreational retail sale commencement,” Nelson said. “The coming 12 months will see an immense amount of growth in the industry, and that means adding a lot of new jobs for the state.”
Education and community engagement efforts will surge
Unencumbered by the restrictions imposed on the medical cannabis market, Missouri’s new adult-use market will create an opportunity for cannabis operators to more fully engage with the communities they serve, helping to further define the industry and its relationship to Missouri residents. Many operators will provide resources for individuals seeking expungement of non-violent cannabis-related convictions, identify more nonprofit organizations to support and expand upon existing Corporate Social Responsibility programs.
“Cannabis operators are in a unique position to conduct outreach to the community,” Nelson said. “Our patients and customers often become like family, and as a result we get to know the community’s needs and concerns. Swade currently financially and operationally supports local organizations such as Mission StL, We are JAINE, the St. Louis University Cannabis Certificate Program as well as St Louis Community College. Our support will substantially increase with the growth of an adult-use market – as will the support capacity from other responsible cannabis operators across the state.”
Missouri will be an outlier as lack of federal reform impacts industry
High taxation, overregulation and the lack of progress on federal cannabis reform are all negatively impacting regulated cannabis markets in states across the nation. In some states, overproduction has created price compression just as consumer demand is flattening. However, the Missouri cannabis industry is poised to buck this trend as its upward trajectory expands job opportunities and avoids the pitfalls now burdening many of the earliest regulated markets in the country.
“Missouri is in a unique position with regard to other states,” Nelson said. “We are launching an adult-use market in response to the voters’ wishes, indicating there is a built-in level of demand right at the start. There is typically a percentage of consumers reluctant to cannabis under a medical-only market that becomes less hesitant in an adult-use market, and we expect Missouri to be no different. The challenge of the state’s industry will be to avoid some of the pitfalls that other states are experiencing.Neighboring states inhabit circumstances that make cannabis tourism amongst bordering populations a viable prospect for Missouri. Whether compared to a significantly higher product tax rate in Illinois or neighboring states such as Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Tennessee that have no representation under a regulated cannabis program, Missouri is well positioned to leverage a robust menu of high-quality cannabis products available at affordable prices.”
About Swade Cannabis
SWADE dispensaries are designed to present the best cannabis in a premium, elevated atmosphere befitting the SWADE name. From their serene surroundings informed by nature, to the first-of-its-kind jewel box showcasing loose SWADE flower hand-selected to order, SWADE examined every detail to make the consumer experience inside its dispensaries both memorable and enlightening. SWADE locations are staffed by thoughtful advisors offering easy-to-follow guidance ensuring that SWADE dispensaries are a place where any individual can safely explore and learn about cannabis at their own pace. To learn more, visit https://www.swadecannabis.com/.