Missouri regulators issued their first annual report on the state’s medical cannabis program June 5, as required under the state’s medical cannabis law, which voters passed in 2018.
The state approved 23,269 patients and caregivers in 2019, according to the report, although medical cannabis sales have yet to launch.
Thirty-three percent of registered patients and caregivers have been approved to cultivate their own cannabis, and the majority of patients (32.5%) plan to use medical cannabis to treat psychiatric conditions, according to the data.
Other qualifying conditions in the program include chronic medical conditions, physical/psychological dependence, migraines, cancer, epilepsy, neuropathies, HIV, Crohn’s Disease, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis and other chronic debilitating medical conditions.
The majority of registered patients (21.77%) are ages 30-39, while .37% are 17 and under, 12.35% are 18-29, 18.92% are 40-29, 19.22% are 50-59 and 4.04% are over 70.
The report says that the state received 582 applications for the 60 available cultivation licenses, 430 applications for 86 manufacturing licenses, 1,219 applications for 192 dispensary licenses and 17 applications for 10 testing lab licenses.
Regulators are now entering the final phase of implementing the program, according to a News Tribune report. This phase entails hiring and training staff to regulate compliance and enforce the program’s rules, the news outlet reported.
However, an investigation into the rollout of Missouri’s medical cannabis program is ongoing, last month reaching the governor’s office. The investigation launched after state officials received whistleblower complaints alleging irregularities and conflicts of interest in the licensing process, but the state Department of Health and Senior Services has announced plans to launch Missouri’s medical cannabis program this summer.