Missouri’s first weekend of legal cannabis sales is in the books. 

The nearly 200 dispensaries dotting the state netted $12.6 million in sales in the first three days of adult-use sales. There is an argument to be made that number may have been higher had the permit release timing been a little clearer; even operators didn’t realize they would be allowed to commence sales Friday. 

John Mueller is the CEO of Missouri’s largest operator Greenlight, a multi-state operator that has 15 retail permits in Missouri. Mueller, a Missouri native, told L.A. Weekly that Greenlight had its fair share of action over the weekend, with sales doubling overnight once adult-use kicked in. 

Mueller notes the tail end of last week was a bit of a gray zone. 

“Then what happened is, on Thursday, the state said they would start issuing out the licenses and you didn’t have to wait. We thought they would have all licenses at open at whatever time on the sixth,” Mueller explained.

They would get the permit at 8:30 a.m. Friday morning and be open in an hour and a half. But unlike the big lines we’re used to seeing outside dispensaries on opening day, at first it was a quest by consumers to confirm the news on shops opening earlier than expected. Mueller says the phone continues to ring off the hook in that regard. 

Even with the traditional first sale not the spectacle it’s been in other states, dispensaries did great. Mueller noted some places saw up to four times the amount of usual foot traffic depending on where. 

Mueller said there is plenty to be happy about besides the numbers. He feels dispensary operators got a lot to work with in the regulations. 

“Thrilled with the performance, but there is a whole lot of stuff. You know we got drive-through here authorized, express pick-up windows in the lobbies and then also making sure that that patient wasn’t relegated to a bad status.”

Greenlight has separated the adult-use and medical lines at the dispensaries to make sure none of the state’s 200,000 medical cannabis patients feel left behind in the transition over to adult-use sales. 

Mueller doesn’t feel like things have been overly restrictive on operators, apart from the normal childproofing packaging and things like that.

“We carry about 300 products per store, so we’re a pretty wide selection and we’ve got a pretty robust cultivation and manufacturing side of this equation,” Mueller said. 

He noted the dispensaries currently operating are able to acquire flower from 28 different cultivators in the state. He thinks there are about 50 different manufacturers in the state that are all cranking out products too. 

While that number may sound small to Californians, it’s still a decent number of producers on day one. We asked Mueller if it was enough for a real level of competition similar to the fight for shelf space we’re seeing on the west coast. 

He was quick to argue, sure. Currently, Greenlight’s discount eighths are running $25, with the top shelf clocking in at $45. 

There weren’t a lot of surprises for Greenlight during the transition. The company was able to lean on its past experiences transitioning from a medical market to adult-use in Nevada. Greenlight also has operations across the southeast and midwest in Arkansas, West Virginia, Illinois and South Dakota.

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