Slowly but surely, medical marijuana supply in Missouri improving
CARTHAGE, Mo. – Blue Sage Cannabis Company has been open in Carthage for around two months. Two months that have been a whirlwind for budtenders at the new medical marijuana dispensary.
“It could not be any better. We’re doing fantastic here,” says Liz Perry, the Manager at Blue Sage Cannabis Company.
The dispensary was started by Leanne Dickerson, who had run her own pharmacy in Harrisonville since 2002. Starting the company was a big gamble, but one Dickerson was willing to take.
“Obviously everyone knows about the opioid epidemic, and so I just feel like this is a wonderful alternative to that,” explains Dickerson. “It’s all about education. I know years ago marijuana got a bad name, but there’s so many benefits from marijuana that I think it’s very important to have a store like this so that we can educate people and help them with their medical needs.”
After going through a lot of paperwork to satisfy the state’s requirements for operating a medical marijuana dispensary, Blue Sage Cannabis Company opened in Carthage at the end of January. The main goal of the dispensary — like most of them — is to help patients find the products they need. But to do that, they need cannabis products on the shelves.
“We just started with flower at first, and edibles,” explains Perry. “Over time as the supply keeps getting bigger and bigger we’re being able to add more and more products.”
As the number of manufactures and cultivators in the state have increased, they were able to add more strains of flower, different kinds of edibles like THC infused drinks, pre-rolled joints, and vape cartridges’ with concentrated THC. They’re still waiting for other kinds of concentrates, like dabs, but say they should be available soon.
It was a similar story for Cassville Dispensary when they opened at the end of September, 2020. At the time, the dispensary was only able to sell CBD products, since cannabis flower wasn’t ready for the market yet at the time. The dispensary received their first shipment of cannabis flower at the end of October; more strains of flower and more products started following steadily after that.
“Now we have quite a few more cultivators coming up. We have more manufacturing facilities. So, supply is doing a lot better now than it was when we opened,” explains Charlea Estes-Jones, the General Manager at Cassville Dispensary. “There are still some challenges there. We still run out of things occasionally. Right now vape carts are very popular.”
Estes-Jones explains they’ve worked hard to cultivate relationships with multiple suppliers, so they’re supply should just continue to increase.
One of those is Flora Farms. Flora Farms operates a cultivation facility in Humansville, Missouri, as well as a few dispensaries. One of them is in Neosho. Mark Hendren, Chief Operating Officer at Flora Farms, explains their cultivation facility has been operational for three months. Hendren explains that in mid-March, cannabis flower started being shipped to dispensaries across the state.
As more facilities like Flora Farms come online, Perry expects to see the price that consumers see decrease across the board.
“We’ve already lowered our prices a couple times just since we opened. And with more supply, I can definitely see it going down,” says Perry.
“We are all trying to be patient, waiting for a lot of those issues to resolve. And, they’re getting resolved and getting better, so it’s just a matter of a little more patience and we’ll see it improve,” says Estes-Jones.
So both of them are excited to see Missouri get a point where supply will meet the growing demand.
“Being able to provide different kinds of medicine and different ways to take that medicine is life changing,” explains Perry. “I could not be more excited.”