ST. LOUIS — The cannabis community celebrated 4/20 legally for the first time in Missouri after recreational marijuana became legal earlier this year.
For many people, it was the first time they celebrated the 4/20 holiday out in the open.
"It was supposed to be the gateway drug. Now, it's the miracle drug," cultivator Rasheed Gresham said.
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People can't get enough of it. In the month of March alone, recreational and medical marijuana sales grew to $126.2 million in the state.
"With the opening of recreational marijuana, we saw a huge influx of sales and we are continuing to see that influx," Hippos Assistant Manager Izzi Clawson said. "Every week, we're hitting new best days. And so, it's really fun to continue to see us grow and expand and have an even larger customer base."
Some dispensaries and grow facilities were having trouble keeping up with the demand, but that has started to improve. Amy Dailey with Good Day Farm said the dispensary started planning way in advance to avoid supply issues as everyone is at the mercy of the growing process.
"It does take time to grow. I mean, every time that we put a plant in the ground, it does take months for it to grow and then for us to cultivate it," Dailey said.
While the sales are great, for people like Gresham, marijuana legalization is so much more than that, as he did hard time for what used to be a crime.
"I was in jail. I was. They gave me nine years in jail in New Jersey. So, I finished all that up, and I moved out here, and I've been licensed legally since 2019. I have my own brand, Sheed with the Weed," Gresham said.
Consumers, growers and bud tenders hope that with each 4/20 celebration, the stigma will become a thing of the past.
"We're fighting against just a lack of education," Clawson said. "There's been a lot of misinformation from our government for many years, and so we really use that holiday to push back and show how wonderful cannabis can be and how it can be done in a safe way."
Some outdoor events were moved to the weekend due to uncertain weather, including the celebration at Ballpark Village, which was pushed to Friday.
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