Missouri exceeds expectations since opening dispensaries throughout the state.

Although Missouri legalized medical marijuana in 2018, it wasn’t until October 2020 that Missourians could buy THC products. Since those sales began, the Missouri Medical Marijuana program has seen more than $300 million in cumulative sales. These sales have surpassed expectations, including the $6 million annual earnings predicted by Missouri’s state auditor in 2019. Along with the continued increase in sales, the state continues to see residents’ interest in obtaining a license increase daily.

Ashley Strutevant, Cheryl Custard, and Skyeler Custard
Niki Aberle, Ann Young, and Kensey McGartland

“The number of registered patients in the Missouri medical marijuana program continues to increase and has grown from 60,000 to nearly 185,000 since the first sale in the state,” says Missouri Health and Wellness Dispensary Regional Manager Kathleen Beebe.

This same influx can also be seen right here in the capital city. In Cole County, alone, there are more than 2,000 registered patients, according to the Department Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Active Missouri Medical Marijuana Patient Distribution report. Since becoming Jefferson City’s first dispensary in January 2021, the Missouri Health and Wellness Dispensary has seen a steady increase in sales, as well as growers and manufacturers. This means they can now work with many Missouri vendors to provide a much wider selection of products like topicals, edibles, tinctures, and flowers.

“However, one of the biggest contributors to our growth is having well-trained staff that takes the time to develop meaningful relationships with our patients,” Kathleen adds. “We continue to see new patients every day and have developed long-term relationships with our existing patients. We are definitely seeing a shift in the negative stereotypes about cannabis as more and more people experience the medicinal benefits and see that we provide a valuable product and service.

In becoming a wellness specialist (aka bud tender), staff must have extensive knowledge about current and new products for patients. This makes the process much easier, especially for new patients.

“…we take the time to get to know our patients and provide guidance and support throughout the process.

Kathleen Beebe

“Missouri Health and Wellness prides itself on creating an environment that is comfortable and everyone feels welcomed, so there is no need to feel intimidated about visiting one of our locations,” Kathleen says. “We provide a service that goes beyond selling a product, and instead we take the time to get to know our patients and provide guidance and support throughout the process. We often hear patients say that our stores are warm and inviting, much like our wellness specialists. Many of our patients have never tried cannabis and may have hesitations or a lot of questions. The wellness specialists are trained to know what each product is and how it may help with various medical conditions. We are careful not to offer medical advice while still being a valuable resource to our patients.”

For those looking to obtain a medical marijuana patient card, you must prove that you’re a Missouri resident and provide evidence of a qualified medical condition per the guidelines set by the DHSS.

This list of medical conditions set by DHSS covers people suffering from ailments such as cancer, PTSD, and other chronic medical conditions that are normally treated with prescription medications that could lead to physical or psychological dependence.These conditions qualify when a physician determines that medical use of marijuana could be effective in treating that condition and would serve as a safer alternative to the prescription medication.“Some words of caution are that people seeking to obtain a medical marijuana card need to make sure they see a Missouri licensed physician, or they risk having their application rejected by DHSS,” Kathleen warns. “That is why we work with MidwestCannabinoid Clinics, which is a reputable tele-doc service with a Missouri licensed physician certifying patients across the state.”

While there is still much research to be done on medical marijuana, other studies suggest CBD (or cannabidiol), is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that can be especially beneficial for patients who cannot benefit from traditional medications as a result of damaged organs or a compromised immune system. In a recent study published in “Epilepsy and Behavior” Johns Hopkins Medicine collaborated with the Realm of Caring Foundation and other institutions to discover thatCBD may reduce the adverse effects associated with anti-seizure medications, and that CBD seems to improve other aspects of health and quality of life for patients. “CBD is not only for sufferers of arthritis, pain, neuropathy, stress, and anxiety, it’s good for getting your body in check and keeping it in homeostasis,” says owner of American Shaman, Cheryl Custard. “Pet owners can also use it for separation anxiety, storms, seizures, and arthritis pain.”

“We are definitely seeing a shift in the negative stereotypes about cannabis as more and more people experience the medicinal benefits and see that we provide a valuable product and service.”

Kathleen Beebe

Opening in 2019, the family-owned-and-operated store has seen a steady number of CBD sales despite a short decrease during COVID-19. CBD contains all of the cannabinoids and terpenes that naturally occur in the hemp plant, so it can deliver beneficial components without giving a more high feeling.“The biggest difference between CBD and THC is the psychoactive properties in THC,” Cheryl says. “CBD does not come with any kind of head high. They both can do incredible things for pain.”

American Shaman is a third-party tested facility and is hemp authority certified. While they mainly offer American Shaman CBD products, the store also sells Koi and Kush Queen, which create quality CBD bath bombs and skin care products for various conditions. Another new vendor withAmerican Shaman is Zen Master for Delta 8 and HHC. Although CBD has been available to Missourians for years, there are still many people who are just now learning about its benefits.

“You do have to be over the age of 18 to purchase CBD, however, we would recommend it for everyone,” Cheryl says. “If you’re not sure of how to start. and what products to use, we are certified CBD consultants. We will help you find the best products for you. We also offer private consultations onSundays and before and after hours by appointment, absolutely free.

Medical decisions should not be made based on this article. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products.