Springfield is about to get a third medical marijuana dispensary, one of 89 marijuana businesses state authorities certified to operate, out of roughly 370 that were licensed 13 months ago.
After opening a 55,000-square-foot cultivation center last fall and then dispensaries in Neosho and Humansville, Flora Farms said Monday that it would hold a grand opening at its Springfield location, 2027 N. Glenstone Ave., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
“You won’t want to miss this!” the company said on social media.
“We’re very excited to be opening after all this time!” said the company president, Mark Hendren, in a prepared statement released Tuesday. “Our team has put in a heroic amount of time and effort into these facilities and we can’t wait to share them with the patients of Missouri.”
In Springfield, Flora Farms said, it will be selling THC-infused gummies, drinks, and pre-rolled joints. The pre-rolls, supplied by Kansas City-based manufacturer CLOVR, come in four strains of the cannabis plant.
“Supplies will be very limited,” the company said Tuesday. The company’s news release and its posts on Instagram and Facebook did not reference any sales of cannabis flower (i.e., marijuana buds for vaping or smoking).
Cannabis flower and manufactured products remain in short supply in Missouri: 56 out of 192 licensed dispensaries have been approved to operate, while just 16 out of 60 licensed growing centers are approved. That’s according to data posted Friday by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state agency in charge of Missouri medical marijuana.
Most Missouri medical marijuana businesses obtained extensions from DHSS on their one-year operating deadlines after failing to open on time, the News-Leader recently reported.
Fallout from COVID-19 has limited the availability of raw construction materials and high-technology devices like humidity controls that are needed to grow cannabis, and federal prohibition means cannabis companies can’t apply for bank loans like other types of businesses, a statewide medical marijuana trade association said.
Still, roughly 102,000 Missouri patients and caregivers have applied for medical marijuana ID cards since applications became available in mid-2019.
More recently, cumulative sales of cannabis and products derived from the plant have increased from just $345,000 in the first few weeks of sales — which began at dispensaries in the St. Louis region on Oct. 16 — to $16 million as of February, according to the data DHSS posted Friday.
Medical marijuana sales in Springfield began at Old Route 66 Wellness on Nov. 2, followed by the 2021 openings of OzaRX Botanicals in west Springfield and Missouri Joint Ventures in Nixa. An East Chestnut Expressway dispensary, The Farmer’s Wife, said recently it would likely open in late spring. Cassville Dispensary was the first to open in southern Missouri.
Source: Springfield News Leader, Author Gregory Holman