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Want to learn how to open a dispensary in Missouri for the 2023 adult use marijuana program? This page is dedicated to giving you the most up to date information on how to open a dispensary in Missouri with success. Missouri legalized recreational marijuana with Amendment 3 for adults 21 and older and also expunges records of past arrests and convictions for nonviolent marijuana offenses, except for selling to minors or driving under the influence. According to Legal MO 2022, the organization behind the initiative, the initiative will create an adult use cannabis market. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Allows Missourians 21 years and older to possess, purchase, consume and cultivate marijuana.

  • Allows Missourians with nonviolent marijuana-related offenses to automatically expunge their criminal records (Similar programs in other states typically require those seeking to vacate convictions to first petition the courts, adding time and expenses).

  • Levies 6% state tax on retail sales of marijuana. Beyond covering administrative expenses and the costs to process automatic expungements, any remaining surplus will be split equally between veterans’ healthcare, drug addiction treatment, and Missouri’s underfunded public defender system.

  • Allows local governments to assess local sales taxes of up to 3%. State officials project additional annual revenue of at least $40.8 million and additional local government revenues of at least $13.8 million.

  • New business licenses: Seeks to broaden industry participation by small business owners and among disadvantaged populations, including those with limited capital, residents of high-poverty communities, service-disabled veterans, and those previously convicted of non-violent marijuana offenses.

  • Lottery: All new license holders will be selected at random, by lottery.

  • Local control: Allows local communities to opt-out of adult-use retail marijuana sales through a vote of the people..

  • Sales-to-date: 

  • New licenses: Adds a minimum of 144 new small businesses to the existing 382 licensed and certified cannabis businesses in the state.

  • Statewide access: To ensure statewide access, 18 of these new businesses will be added in each of the state’s eight congressional districts over time. At least six of those new businesses in each district must operate as dispensaries.

  • New category: The remainder will be designated as wholesale facilities, a new category that allows operators to both cultivate the plant and manufacture cannabis products such as edibles, vape cartridges, topicals, and concentrates.

  • Eligibility: This new group of business license holders would have to meet at least one of the following requirements:

    • Have a net worth of less than $250,000 and income below 250% of the federal poverty level for at least 3 of the previous 10 years;

    • Have a valid service-connected disability card issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs;

    • Have been arrested, prosecuted, or convicted of a non-violent marijuana offense, or be the parent, guardian, or spouse of such a person;

    • Live in a ZIP code or Census tract with high poverty, unemployment, marijuana imprisonment rates;

    • Graduated from a unaccredited school district, or lives in a ZIP code with such a district for at least three of the past five years​​​

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Missouri Department of Health has released draft regulations and amendments to the current rules for medical marijuana, adopting the rules for the new adult use program. Those amendments is located HERE, and public comments will be open until 11/25/22. 

Proposed rule amendments filed with the Secretary of State appear on the Rule Amendments page.

An in-depth FAQ page can be found here related to the upcoming adult use program, or FILL OUT OUR CONTACT FORM to get started. You can also BOOK A CONSULTATION with one of our experts who are here to strategically guide you through the process and help you succeed



2018: In November of 2018, Missouri residents voted yes on Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana for registered patients with serious health conditions.

2020: After a year of setting regulations, dispensary licenses were awarded in January 2020. And the competition was fierce: 192 licenses were issued to a pool of over 1,200 applicants. The first dispensaries opened their doors in Missouri in October 2020.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), “the number of dispensary facility licenses will be limited to 192, unless the department determines the limit must be increased in order to meet the demand for medical marijuana by qualifying patients.”


On November 6, 2018, Missouri voters passed Amendment 2, authorizing the launch of a new medical marijuana program in the state. Under the amendment, the Department of Health and Senior Services must accept medical marijuana dispensary applications no later than August 3, 2019.


Are you wondering how to open a dispensary in Missouri? Contact Green Rush Consulting today to get started with our team of cannabis experts.


Since 2014, Missouri has had a very restrictive CBD-only program for patients with intractable epilepsy with SB 491. In 2018, the Legislature failed to pass a bill that would create a separate highly restrictive program for medical marijuana.

how to start a marijuana business missouri

If you are just starting your marijuana business, the next best step is to start a Business Plan to help educate your team and be ready to apply for a marijuana business license. If you are ready to apply for a Marijuana Business License in Missouri, please Contact us or call our offices to set an appointment to get started. You can also select another State Opportunity, or fill out our Contact Form to discuss potential strategies such as Investment or Partnership Opportunities. 

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