Even though Missouri's medical marijuana program has yet to sell even one ounce of medical pot, the state has already managed to direct over $2 million in tax revenue to health programs for military veterans.
Last Friday, the state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) announced that it had transferred $2,135,510 in medical marijuana revenue to the Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC). The MVC will use this cash to fund health services for veterans who have served time in the military. This is the first time that a US state has used legal weed revenue to fund a state veterans program.
This funding is a key component of Missouri's medical marijuana law, which was enacted by voters in 2018. This law requires the state to route all revenue from medical marijuana taxes and licensing fees to the state veterans commission, minus any expenses necessary to keep the program running. Medical cannabis businesses are not yet ready to serve the public, but the state expects that they will be able to open their doors by the end of the month.
“Facilities are getting up and running now, and the first testing laboratory is on track to be operational very soon,” said Lyndall Fraker, director of DHSS’s medical marijuana regulation division, in a statement. “We are confident that medical marijuana will become available for patients this month, and I am grateful for all the hard work by so many that got us to this point.”