More than 21,000 patients have been approved for medical marijuana use since June 28, which is 2,000 more than initial projections for the first year.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services estimated that 19,000 patients would be approved in the first year and that 22, 543 patients would be approved by the end of 2021.
“We always predicted that the numbers would be far larger than the MU Economics study predicted," said Dan Viets, president of New Approach Missouri. "They made the mistake of assuming that all medical marijuana programs are equal. In fact, they are not."
Viets said Missouri has one of the best medical marijuana laws in the nation because doctors can recommend cannabis for a wide variety of ailments and injuries.
About 1,000 new patients are being approved every week, according to a news release from the Missouri affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
About one-third of those approved to possess and consume medical marijuana have also been approved to grow their own medicine, the news release said. More than 7,000 cultivation licenses have also been issued.