Missouri residents voted to legalize medical marijuana in Nov. 2018. Two years later, the state’s first licensed dispensaries are nearly ready to open. More than 60,000 registered medical marijuana patients are ready to make their first purchases of state-licensed cannabis.
During the first few weeks, dispensaries will have cannabis flower available—and not much else.
What products will they find? During these first few weeks, dispensaries will have cannabis flower available—and not much else.
Dispensaries will eventually stock gummies, chocolates, concentrates, tinctures, vape cartridges, capsules, and other product categories. But those products take time to manufacture, and the raw material for all of them—cannabis flower—is reaching the manufacturing facilities at the same time it’s reaching the dispensaries. Look for the first infused products to hit the shelves around Dec. 1, 2020.
Bianca Sullivan, CEO of Fresh Green, says her Kansas City-area dispensary in Lee’s Summit expects to receive cannabis flower in the next few days. “It’s outdoor-grown and all-organic from one cultivator,” Sullivan told Leafly last week. “We’re working with one grower, and the harvest they’ve got now should produce about 30 strains.”
Three licensed cannabis farmers are currently growing in Missouri, and only one has completed a harvest. The other two, Sullivan said, expect to have cannabis available by the end of October.
Fresh Green has two dispensaries in the Kansas City region. The storefront in Lee’s Summit should have enough product to open within the next seven to 10 days, Sullivan said. Fresh Green’s Kansas City dispensary, in the Waldo neighborhood, is still under construction.
How to purchase at a Missouri medical marijuana dispensary
Use Leafly Finder to locate the dispensaries near you. Leafly lists only state-licensed dispensaries, so you know you’re finding the highest quality, lab-tested products available.
What to bring to the dispensary:
- Your Missouri medical marijuana card
- A state-issued form of identification
- Cash for payment. Most dispensaries can’t take credit or debit cards.
- Consider bringing a folding chair, jacket, hat, and blanket in the car. There may be a line outside the dispensary in the early days.
COVID shopping restrictions
Occupancy limitations due to coronavirus restrictions vary from county to county. Bradford Goette, CEO of Nirvana Bliss, notes that two of the company’s N’Bliss dispensaries in the St. Louis region “are in a county where you can only have 25% of normal occupancy.” Because of that, N’Bliss is encouraging patients to order ahead online and pick up their order at the dispensary.
N’Bliss adopted an unusual strategy for its dispensaries in Manchester and Ellisville: They’re already open for CBD-only sales.
“By offering CBD, we’re allowing people who don’t have their medical cards to come in and learn about medical marijuana,” Goette told Leafly. Products with THC, he added, are expected to arrive in the next week or two.
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Don’t worry, prices will fall
You can always count on two things when a newly legal state opens its first cannabis stores: Supply will be limited and prices will be abnormally high.
Don’t worry. As more products fill the supply chain, prices will fall to a reasonable norm. When cannabis stores opened in Seattle in 2014, the cheapest flower went for $22 a gram. About a year later it was $7 a gram. Now it’s $5.
We’re not saying you’ll find a $5 gram in Missouri anytime soon. But the dynamic is the same. Cannabis in a medical-only state like Missouri may be more expensive than products found in an adult-use state like Illinois, because the market is more constrained.
The monthly patient purchase limit is four (4) ounces of cannabis flower, or its equivalent in concentrates and infused products. Dispensary staff will take care of the limit calculations for you. After exiting the dispensary put your cannabis in the trunk, if possible, as you transport it home.
Leafly maintains a comprehensive guide to Missouri’s cannabis laws if you want to know more.
Cannabis flower 101
Most Missouri medical marijuana patients are familiar with cannabis flower, but for those new to the product, here’s a brief primer.
- Cannabis flower is the term for what used to be called weed, pot, ganja, bud, etc. It’s what dealers used to put in a dime bag…kind of. The cannabis you’ll find in medical dispensaries has been tested for purity and potency, and arrives without any seeds or stems.
- Flower is sold according to its weight: one gram, two grams, eighth-ounce, quarter-ounce, half-ounce, and ounce. Here’s what those volumes look like.
- Flower is most often smoked in a joint (cannabis cigarette), a pipe, or a bong (water pipe). It’s also vaporized in a vaporizer capable of handling cannabis flower. A typical joint contains a little more than half a gram of flower.
- Many patients and consumers prefer to grind their cannabis flower into smaller portions using a cannabis grinder. This helps the flower burn more evenly and smoothly.
- Some patients prefer to turn their cannabis flower into homemade edibles. The easiest way is by making cannabutter. Leafly shows you how here.
- Flower potency is noted by its THC content. Most flower will contain between 5% and 30% THC.
- Other cannabinoids (like CBD) and terpenes (like pinene) will affect your experience. All these elements work together in a dynamic known as the entourage effect. Learn more about CBD, terpenes, and the entourage effect with Leafly.
- Each unique cannabis strain contains a specific range of THC, CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids. Leafly has the world’s most comprehensive guide to cannabis strains.
Cannabis flower: What it is and how to dose it
When licensed dispensary budtenders talk about flower, they mean good old-fashioned marijuana buds and leaves—what old-timers called weed, ganja, chronic, or pot.
It’s sold by the gram, eighth-ounce, quarter-ounce, half-ounce, or ounce. The picture below contains those quantities. A typical joint contains a little less than one gram of cannabis flower.
How to roll a joint
The joint is one of the more iconic ways to consume cannabis, and it’s a great way to enjoy the flavor of your flower. Every cannabis smoker should learn how to roll a joint. There are countless opinions on the different ways of rolling one, but whatever you do, make sure your creation burns smoothly and evenly. Leafly has full instructions here.
The easiest way: Buy pre-rolled joints
If you’ve never rolled your own joint, the easiest way to consume medical marijuana is by smoking joints already rolled by the dispensary staff. These are known as pre-rolls. They typically contain about one gram of cannabis flower and sell for $6 to $10 each.
Although joints and pre-rolls are smoked like tobacco cigarettes, they don’t cause lung cancer like tobacco cigarettes. (Numerous studies confirm this.)
Cannabis flower vaporizers
Flower vaporizers are a popular option. They heat the flower to a point where cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) and terpenes are vaporized, but the leaf doesn’t combust. This delivers vapor, not smoke, to the lungs and can offer a much smoother experience. (That’s a nice way of saying less coughing and throat burn.)
Leafly has a number of guides to flower vaporizers—see below.
Advantage of inhaled cannabis: immediate relief
While Missouri patients await the arrival of cannabis-infused gummies, chocolate, beverages, and other products, they will enjoy the main benefit of inhaled cannabinoids: immediate relief.
Infused edibles and beverages can take up to an hour for the effects to be experienced, because the cannabinoids have to be processed by the body’s digestive system.
Inhaled vapor or smoke, by contrast, takes effect within a few seconds because the lungs deliver THC and other cannabinoids directly to the bloodstream. That makes dosing far easier. Take it easy, pause and pace your inhaled hits, and stop when you reach the level of relief that’s right for you.
How to qualify for a medical marijuana card in Missouri
Leafly’s comprehensive guide to Missouri’s marijuana laws includes information about qualifying conditions, and a step-by-step guide to obtaining a medical marijuana card.