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Missouri medical marijuana dispensaries open to long lines, happy patients

Published on October 19, 2020
After a two-year wait, the first medical marijuana dispensaries finally opened in Missouri over the weekend. In this AP photo, T.K. Killian, right, spoke with Blue Key operator Jim Thomas at a marijuana business conference in St. Louis on Tuesday, March 2, 2020. (AP Photo by Jim Salter)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri’s first licensed marijuana dispensaries opened this weekend in the St. Louis area with long lines and happy patients.

The two dispensaries run by N’Bliss opened Saturday in Ellisville and Manchester. Another dispensary is expected to open Monday in the Kansas City area nearly two years after Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow the sale of medical marijuana. 

“We’ll have flower at first, and then a ‘coming soon’ section of products,” N’Bliss CEO Bradford Goette told Leafly earlier this month as he readied to open. “Out of the gate, there will only be flower available. And then once manufacturing gets up and running, with the trim and biomass available,” other products like edibles, concentrates, and topicals will come online.

Leafly has a complete guide to the medical cannabis products available during these early days in Missouri.

Leafly’s guide to Missouri medical marijuana dispensary products

Bring ID and a med card

To buy the drug, people need approval from a doctor and a state medical marijuana card. Prices are expected to be high initially because the supply is limited in the state at this stage. N’Bliss was charging $125 for an eighth of an ounce of marijuana when it opened Saturday.

Kim Haller said she stood in line Saturday because she has long been frustrated with the high cost of medications and injections she uses to treat her multiple sclerosis. Recently, Haller said she had been buying marijuana from a licensed caregiver.

“It helps with my spasticity, which means my muscles don’t move like I like them to, and sleep,” Haller, 54, of St. Peters, said of the marijuana treatment.

“We’re open, inviting, and helping people find their own path,” said Goette. “N’Bliss is the name of our dispensaries, and our target is to help individuals find their path to bliss. That may not always be medical marijuana; it could be CBD products.”

N’Bliss had already opened a CBD-only section of its store prior to the addition of THC products. That CBD section remains open to customers who do not have state medical marijuana cards.

Kansas City dispensaries opening soon

In the Kansas City area, Brenda Dougherty said she hopes to be one of Fresh Green’s first customers when it opens this week in Lee’s Summit. The 57-year-old from Warrensburg said she believes marijuana will help relieve her chronic pain condition.

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“I don’t want to take any more pills,” she said. “I know this will help. To be quite honest, I have tried it and, yes, it does help.”

Bianca Sullivan, CEO of Fresh Green, told Leafly earlier this month she expects to greet a long line of patients at her door.

“We are the only dispensary past inspection yet” in the Kansas City area, she said, “and there are about 7,000 patients in Jackson County. If we’re the only dispensary open, that’ll produce a line.”

Sullivan said her staff is ready to help both new and experienced patients, with COVID social distancing protocols in place to keep everyone healthy.

192 dispensaries are coming, eventually

The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services expects most of the state’s 192 approved dispensaries to be open by the end of the year.

“Missouri patients have always been our North Star as we work to implement the state’s medical marijuana program,” Dr. Randall Williams, department director, said in a news release. “We greatly appreciate how hard everyone has worked so that patients can begin accessing a safe and well-regulated program.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Bruce Barcott
Bruce Barcott
Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.
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