On Tuesday, the Missouri Secretary of State’s office revealed that more than 214,000 valid voter signatures had been submitted to place marijuana legalization on the state’s ballot. We had representatives at post offices, supermarkets, and any other public place where we could legally speak to the public about the program.
The time and effort required to gather the necessary signatures for the ballot were substantial. It was pretty much all we talked about from the time we woke up until we went home for the day,” said Casey Efting, the director of retail operations at Greenlight.
A state audit estimates that the state will receive $40 million in annual tax revenue from the legalization of marijuana. If Amendment 3 passes in November, sales at dispensaries in the Kansas City area might account for a sizable chunk of it.
This is due to the fact that Kansas is one of only a few states that does not allow the sale of any form of marijuana. Kansans can legally purchase recreational marijuana in Missouri, but residents of other states cannot.
However, taking it back with you to Kansas is against the law as it is right now. Dispensaries, growers, and manufacturers in Missouri, who serve roughly 200,000 patients with medical marijuana cards, instantly applauded the signature verification.
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Recreational sales have been shown to double or even quadruple revenue in other states. “As a business, yeah it will increase revenue, but it will increase our reach, and destigmatize it so that there are more people that can realize they can use and have it as aspect of their life,” said Aaron Turvey, Director of Transportation at BesaMe Wellness.
Both Mayor Quinton Lucas and Jackson County Executive Frank White have come out publicly in support of the proposition. Both mentioned the section of the amendment that would clear people’s records if they were convicted of a nonviolent crime linked to marijuana.
There is more to legalizing marijuana than just making it available for recreational use and profit. White said in a statement, “It is about undoing policies that disproportionately target black and brown communities, especially men, who are more likely to be arrested and sentenced to significant time behind bars.”
This bill has expungement written in it, which is another reason why I am happy about it. As an added bonus to being able to “come off the street” and “not worry about it being illegal” and “having access to the medicine you will have records being expunged for past infractions,” as stated by Turvey.
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After voters in Missouri approved medical marijuana in 2018, it took roughly two years for dispensaries to start. Now that the infrastructure for producing and distributing cannabis has been established, it should be considerably easier to begin selling cannabis for recreational purposes once the necessary laws are enacted.
Efting estimated that if approved, the process will take around three months.