COLUMBIA - Medical marijuana showed some positive upside in the stae over the last year.
Less than two years after Missouri voters approved a ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana, dispensaries made the state’s first cannabis sales to patients one year ago this weekend.
The first licensed purchase took place in St. Louis at N'Bliss Cannabis and since then, dispensaries have received increased amount of business.
Savanna Foos is an assistant manager at Green Releaf Dispensary located in Columbia.
Foos said sales have continued to grow throughout the year and believes their service has been beneficial to customers.
"Medical marijuana provides multiple avenues for helping individuals treat their ailments," Foos said. "So I expect it to grow even a lot more as new patients are realizing and getting first hand knowledge from other patients that it's helping them so much."
Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association spokesperson Jack Cardetti said medical marijuana has seen success in helping community members.
"As we sit here today, nearly 150,000 [Missourians] have medical cards, " Cardetti said. "We think that's a huge, huge benefit to the community."
The number of dispensaries and employees working in the medical marijuana industry has grown in numbers over the past year as well.
According to Cardetti, there are now more than 5,000 direct employees for cannabis companies in the state of Missouri, with more than 190 cannabis dispensaries located throughout Missouri.
Activists and organizations are now looking to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the state.
According to the Secretary of State's website, five 2022 initiative petitions related to marijuana have been approved for circulation in Missouri.
The petitions are waiting to be reviewed for the 2022 calendar year.