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Missouri marijuana sales exceed $100 million in first month of legalized recreational sales

The first month of recreational marijuana sales in Illinois generated just $39.2 million compared to Missouri's first month with $102 million.

ST. LOUIS — This weekend marked one month since recreational marijuana became legal in the state of Missouri.

Just for the month of February, sales already exceeded $100 million.

An amendment allowing for recreational sales in Missouri passed in November 2022, which paved the way for dispensaries to open across our area. 

To put the success into perspective, the first month of recreational marijuana sales in Illinois generated $39.2 million compared to Missouri's first month with $102.9 million. 

$31.2 million was medical use sales and $71.7 million was recreational sales.

That sales record includes $13 million from the first weekend alone, Feb. 3 to Feb. 5.

Nick Wegman, the general manager of Feel State Dispensary, said it's been an exciting and busy first month.

"Our main goal is to make sure that people who connect with us are happy as they can be," he said.

Traffic inside Feel State Dispensary in Florissant hasn't slowed down a bit, according to Wegman.

"We went from seeing about 150 people a day to about 550 overnight," he said.

While it's been an exciting first month of recreational marijuana sales, Wegman said, they're making changes constantly to keep up with the demand.

"We've hired about 15 new people and tend to double that here in the next couple of weeks. More bags, more staples, more printer paper," he said.

According to Wegman, about 160 new people are walking through the doors daily, but patients aren't the only ones experiencing the benefits.

"I think just in general the spirit of North County has lifted, so to speak," he said.

People waited hours in line for the grand opening of a new dispensary, Viola STL in South St. Louis City.

CEO Daniel Pettigrew said St. Louis has welcomed them with open arms.

"It's been unbelievable the support from the people of St. Louis, it's been incredible. We're just really excited about everything," he said.

The dispensary located on Iowa Street was the second one Viola STL opened this weekend. The other location is on Olive Street.

Both are located in the City of St. Louis and are the only Black-owned dispensaries in the city, according to Pettigrew.

"It's a family-owned business and we treat it as such. We’re really engaged on the ground in these communities, really interacting with the people literally on the ground" he said.

Former NBA players Al Harrington and Larry Hughes are also behind the business. 

The collaboration between Hughes, a St. Louis native who played at Saint Louis University before being drafted to the NBA, and Harrington was first announced in November 2020. The two were previously teammates on the New York Knicks from 2009 to 2010.

Pettigrew said the dispensary located on Iowa Street is the only dispensary in the city with a drive-thru.

"We want people to be able to come into a safe, secure place, get their product and then get out, so that’s the main thing. It will really allow us to serve more customers. This neighborhood is in the community, so it was important to them, as we met with them, that they didn’t want a lot of people standing around and lingering in the area. It just allows us to complete the transaction in a safe secure environment, facilitate it, get everyone what they need and let them get on their way as quickly as possible," he said.

Just like cannabis changed Pettigrew's life, he's excited to help it change others.

"The stigma of the war on drugs has really been unbelievably negative and it's been directed and affected some communities more than others, so for us, the opportunity to kind of correct that wrong is huge," he said.

Feel State Dispensary is already looking to expand their building to allow more people inside. 

Wegman said they are going to add 3,000 square feet and are hoping to do that in the next couple of months.

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