Recreational marijuana sales in Columbia put on pause; awaiting City Council approval
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Columbia residents over 21 could legally buy recreational marijuana as soon as Tuesday if city regulations are approved at Monday's council meeting.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services issued an emergency rule Friday, giving Missouri dispensaries the green light to legally sell marijuana with a state-wide license.
But, the state-wide license doesn’t automatically give all Missouri businesses the go-ahead. Some Missouri cities require a city license alongside approval from DHSS – including Columbia. The City Council plans to vote on Columbia’s marijuana license regulations at Monday’s City Council Meeting.
Jay Patel, CEO and founder of Green ReLeaf Cannibas, said dispensaries across Missouri have seen a two to three-time increase in customers. Of their businesses in Troy, Mexico, Moberly, Nevada, Lee’s Summit and Liberty– Columbia is the only dispensary where they’ve been unable to sell recreationally over the weekend.
“They lost the revenue for the first four days of the excitement,” Patel said. “We had to turn [customers] down and tell them if you want to purchase, you know, go to any other locations that are selling recreational at the moment."
Any dispensaries holding a medical license were given the opportunity to apply for a comprehensive license Dec. 8. That license allows dispensaries to sell recreationally to Missouri residents over 21.
DHSS spokesperson Lisa Cox said over 90% of dispensaries applied on the first day they were able to submit, including most Green ReLeaf businesses.
“On Friday they must have clicked somewhere,” Patel said. “We're going to have more traffic, more revenue, and then small little challenges and minor problems that it brings. But all of those things are solvable, it's good for business.”
Amendment 3 first passed during the midterm election. After going into action in early December, Missouri residents over 21 can now legally possess up to three ounces of marijuana.