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Here's what happens when Missouri's Amendment 3 goes into effect Thursday

Recreational marijuana sales are still weeks away, but some things will change starting Thursday.

FLORISSANT, Mo. — Staff stocked the shelves at Florissant's Feel State Dispensary Monday, something they'll likely do a lot more when they make changes for recreational, adult use.

"A couple of extra registers, a little more technology, and more cannabis, of course," Feel State General Manager Nick Wegman says of the likely changes coming to their floorplan.

But those recreational sales are still weeks away. When Missouri's Amendment 3 goes into effect Thursday, it marks the next step toward recreational sales, though the details are still being hashed out.

"Implementation takes a while," 5 On Your Side Political Analyst Anita Manion said. "We pass a law, but then we have to figure out 'How does it work in real life?'"

Manion said the biggest change coming Thursday is possession: Missourians over 21 can possess three ounces of marijuana.

The state will also begin reviewing the cases of people with non-violent marijuana possession convictions. 

And medical use dispensaries can apply for recreational permits.

"Processing those current medicinal dispensaries into recreational... A lot of people think should go fairly smoothly because they have already been certified and are in business," Manion said. "What could take longer, and there are timelines set, is the sort of lottery for the additional 144 licenses."

When Illinois allowed recreational purchases on January 1, 2020, the crowds packed into a Collinsville parking lot with the state pulling in more than $3 million in sales on the first day alone.

"The big thing to think about is that Missouri touches eight states," Wegman said. "That will pull a tremendous amount of revenue into the state that it has not truly seen before, and I think that could be extremely beneficial as far as revenue goes."

Feel State owners have been planning for the day that recreational comes across state lines.

Nobody knows exactly what will happen in Missouri, but Wegman said they expect sales will only grow from here.

"There is a number being thrown around. It could be two times it could be three times the current market," he says as another patient walks in.

Missouri Department of Health and Human Services Communications Director Lisa Cox provided 5 On Your Side with the following information about Amendment 3: "Thursday marks the date that currently licensed medical facilities will be able to apply to be comprehensive (rec/med) facilities. That application review process will be happening at the same time that we are working on revisions to the program rule drafts. We plan to finalize rules prior to the facility licensing so they know what is expected as operators, and this licensing must be determined (per Amendment 3) by Feb. 6."

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