You are here
Home > News > Missouri Veterans Commission Receives $5 Million From Medical Cannabis Program

Missouri Veterans Commission Receives $5 Million From Medical Cannabis Program

The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services announced on May 18 that it would be transferring $5 million to the Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC). A press release stated that this was the third transfer of funds for the agency, totaling $13,978,000.820.

Lyndall Fraker is the Director of Medical Marijuana. She released a statement on progress made by medical patients. “Today, patients are being served by more than 180 dispensary facilities in Missouri—a 20% increase from last fall,” Fraker said. “We are happy to see the veterans served by MVC continue to benefit from these contributions.”

Paul Kirchhoff (Executive Director of the Missouri Veterans Commission) also thanked for their continued support. “MVC will use these new funds for increasing support for Missouri veterans and veteran operations across seven facilities statewide,” Kirchhoff said.

Missourians voted to adopt Constitutional Amendment 2 on November 2018, also known as Article XIV. “The amendment includes a provision requiring that fees and taxes generated by the medical marijuana program, less operational expenses, be transferred to the MVC for health and care services for military veterans,” a press release describes. “Article XIV states that medical marijuana sold in licensed dispensaries will be taxed at a rate of 4%.”

Since October 2020, sales have risen to $335,000,000. Sales began in October 2020. Since then, more than $335 million has been collected in sales revenue. Riverfront TimesReports indicate that April proved to be a very lucrative month for sales of medical cannabis, with $36.76 million in total collected during the month and $2.85million collected on April 20, according to reports.

As a result, the MVC received almost $14 million from medical marijuana. First, $2.1 million was received in Fall 2020. Then came $6.8 millions in 2021. An additional transfer is scheduled for this fall.

The state has approved 188 licensed dispensaries, 48 cultivation facilities, and 69 product manufacturers to serve the state’s 185,000 patients. “Under Article IX of the state Constitution, Missouri residents with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma and 20 other qualifying conditions can purchase or cultivate medical cannabis with a physician’s certification,” Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association wrote in a September 2021 release. “The law also provides physicians with the discretion to certify patients who have other chronic and debilitating medical conditions that could benefit from medical marijuana, and legally protects their right to have such conversations.”

Supporters of legalization for adult use have been working hard to make medical cannabis more accessible. The Legal Missouri 2022 campaign group had received twice the number of signatures required to place the topic on November 2022’s ballot as of May 9.

John Payne, Legal Missouri 2022 campaign manager, shared details about the milestone.“As we submit more than 385,000 petition signatures to the state today, the message from voters is clear: it’s past time to end the senseless and costly prohibition of marijuana,” Payne said. “This widespread and enthusiastic show of support from the people of Missouri exceeds our expectations. We look forward to the timely review and certification of our petition by the Secretary of State’s Office as we continue to educate and inform voters in the coming weeks and months.”

It would legalize cannabis for all adults above 21 years old if the law is adopted. The initiative would help to erase cannabis convictions from criminal records.

Missouri’s legislature approved an open records measure regarding medical cannabis on May 10. Sponsored by Rep. Peter Merideth, the bill’s intent is to allow legislators access to specific information so they can investigate if the state has used its power properly when approving/denying cannabis licenses, if there’s a need to increase license availability, and more—all of which is information that the constitutional amendment currently bars legislators from currently accessing.