Even with the state allowing the minimum number of license for growers of medical marijuana, early supply could outstrip demand, according to University of Missouri economists.
A study by the economists estimates that there will be 19,000 people in Missouri qualified to purchase medical marijuana in 2020. That would require 5,000 to 7,000 pounds of canaibis — an amount that could be produced by between 10 and 14 cultivators. Those number would increase to roughly 26,000 patients and demand for between 24 and 29 cultivators in 2022.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has said it will issue 60 licenses for cultivators.
Authors of the report state that an overproduction of medical marijuana in the state could provide more incentive for the drug to be diverted to the (illegal) recreational market.
Jack Cardetti, spokesman for the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association told St. Louis Public Radio that the report is flawed because it uses old data from other states. The group believes that the actual number of Missourians qualified to purchase medical marijuana in 2020 could be five times what the economists are predicting.