01 January 2022 |

Medical Cannabis In Missouri

By Matthew O'Brien

MEDICAL CANNABIS

Medical Cannabis In Missouri

Breaking down the success of medical cannabis in the State of Missouri…

Missouri said yes to medical cannabis in November 2018, when 66% of voters approved one of the three measures. 

Missouri’s medical cannabis sales began in October 2020, making it one of the five fastest-moving U.S. states to implement a medical cannabis program from scratch after legalization

That’s a major win for Missouri’s patients and those overseeing the medical cannabis program, considering part of the rollout overlapped with the pandemic.

The Department of Health and Senior Services oversees the cannabis program and managed the pandemic, so props to Missouri for such a quick implementation under extenuating circumstances!

Since the first legal sale of medical cannabis in October, Missouri’s medical cannabis market has been thriving. 

The Data…

  • Since 2020, total medical cannabis sales have surpassed $200 million.
  • From January-September 2021 the State topped $131 million in sales.
  • $23 million of these dollars were generated in September 2021 alone.

What Makes Missouri So Successful? 

1) Easy Of Access

Patients in Missouri can access cannabis for a wide variety of reasons.

The legislation they adopted allows for wiggle room as long as a licensed physician thinks you’d benefit from medical cannabis, though specific, approved conditions are listed. 

This makes medical cannabis products extremely accessible for Missourians, with an estimated 150,000 patients and caregivers having already received clearance to receive medical cannabis in Missouri.

This is in thanks to the state preemptively taking patient applications over a year before medical cannabis storefronts were permitted to service patients.

3) Licensing Storefronts

A total of 192 medical cannabis storefronts are permitted to open in Missouri, and the state has already licensed 172 medical cannabis storefronts.

For reference, Florida which is one of the largest medical cannabis markets in the world has 372 licensed medical cannabis storefronts, despite having close to 3.5x the population of Missouri.

Additionally, Illinois, Missouri’s neighboring state which is home to 2x the population of Missouri has all but 55 medical cannabis storefronts.

4) Acceptance Of Cannabis

BDSA estimates 73% of Missourians over the age of 21 are either cannabis consumers, or are open to trying cannabis. 

Of those 73%:

  • 48% are acceptors.
  • 25% are consumers.
  • 27% of Missourians are rejectors and would not consider it in the future. 

Other medical markets are estimated to have 35% consumers, 35% acceptors — a clear sign that cannabis has found “product market fit” in Missouri.

Our Take

The medical cannabis market tends to get swept under the rug while the adult use cannabis market tend to receive all of the attention, however, the success of the medical cannabis market in Missouri warrants the attention of policymakers.

The medical cannabis market in Missouri is an example many other states can learn valuable lessons from, assuming they are interested in emulating this success story.

BIG BUSINESS 

Big Pharma In Cannabis

Does the pharmaceutical industry stand to lose after federal legalization?

New Frontier data estimated a $4 billion annual loss from the American pharmaceutical industry if cannabis were legalized nationwide.

Chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, epilepsy, nerve pain, anxiety, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Tourette syndrome, and glaucoma were the nine conditions analyzed in the report.

Per The Report…

  • Medicare prescriptions declined from 2010 to 2013 for drugs where medical cannabis could be an alternative, totaling $165.2 million in annual savings in 2013.
  • $1.1 billion in taxpayer dollars could be saved if medical cannabis were to be federally legalized in the United States.
  • Pfizer in particular, with $52.8 billion in 2016 sales, could lose a half-billion dollars in annual revenue, the report cited. 

The report notes that cannabis legalization will not greatly disrupt the pharmaceutical industry as a whole, though certain companies such as Pfizer might be more negatively impacted.

“That’s actually a very scary notion for pharma. It’s not scary because they can no longer sell their $36,000 [per year] CBD drug for epilepsy.

It’s a scary proposition because now all of their drugs are under threat,” Dr. Jeff Chen, physician and director of UCLA’s Cannabis Initiative, said on a panel during IMN’s Institutional Capital & Cannabis Conference. 

Vested Interests…

Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer has received more than $1 million USD from pharmaceutical companies since 2007, alongside other members of Congress. 

Subsequently, Hoyer changed his once pro-cannabis status in favor of a gateway drug mentality. 

“I still have concerns on this after speaking to people who deal with drug abuse and rehabilitation issues and particularly after learning of the drug’s harmful consequences as a threshold drug that leads to the use of harder, very harmful drugs,” Hoyer wrote in a verified letter obtained by Marijuana Moment in 2019. 

A 2011 study found 83% of illicit drug users in Japan did not consume cannabis first.

This is one piece of evidence putting the “cannabis is a gateway drug theory” into question, because cannabis isn’t nearly as accessible in Japan as it is in the U.S.

Many people believe Hoyer is only making such statements to appease pharmaceutical companies who donate the funding he needs to continue his campaigns to retain his place in the House of Representatives.

Cannabis + Pharma?

As the age old saying goes, if you can’t beat them — join them.

Pharmaceutical companies have recently started to partner with cannabis and cannabis-interested companies through various agreements. 

The largest deal in the cannabis industry to date is the acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals, by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in a colossal $7.2 billion acquisition 

Additionally, Pfizer acquired biotechnology company Arena Pharmaceuticals in 2021, who has been working on a cannabis-based treatment for IBS (part of a much broader portfolio of pharmaceutical products).

Pfizer, AstraZeneca, GW Pharmaceuticals, PhytoTech Therapeutics, Intron Biotechnology, and Sanofi are among the pharmaceutical companies who have at least 1 cannabinoid clinical trial registered with the FDA, beyond buying companies.

Our Take

While we aren’t necessarily of the opinion that pharmaceutical conglomerates are blocking every motion to federally legalize cannabis, we do wonder how much their influence can slow down the process. 

Another point to keep in mind: 58 years old is the average age of a House member and 68 years old is the average age of a Senator. This is an age group who have experienced anti-”pot” propaganda to the fullest. 

Only recently have many of those Congressmen and women been able to unlearn previous notions about cannabis enough to bring legitimate legislation to life.

What is crystal clear today is that progress continues to be made in the U.S when it comes to legalizing cannabis, although it can be very frustrating to wait for our lawmakers to come to terms with the safety profile of cannabis. 

LOCAL ECONOMIES 

Can Cannabis Impact Real Estate Prices?

Breaking down the impact cannabis can have on the prices of real estate…

It’s clear cannabis is having a very positive impact on the economy, with cannabis sales exceeding $25 billion USD in the United States in 2021. 

Nonetheless, the question remains — how exactly does legalizing cannabis impact the prices of property in these regions where cannabis is now legal?

The Data…

2017 study from the University of Mississippi found adult use legalization “attracts more home buyers, including cannabis consumers as well as entrepreneurs and job seekers.”

New businesses begin to appear and job seekers come to these cities, similar to Houston’s oil industry’s impact on the local real estate market. 

Here’s a look at how that’s happening in Canada & the United States:

In Canada…

Several pieces of research indicate legal cannabis has a positive effect on the real estate market in the local community. 

44% of Canadians say they would like to live near a cannabis retail store, according to findings by Remax. 

The real estate market Smiths Falls, Ontario has benefitted from the world’s largest cannabis producer, Canopy Growth, being located close by. 

In 2019, there was a housing shortage in the surrounding Rideau-St. Lawrence region, which can be partially attributed to Canopy Growth: 

  • The area saw a 27.1% increase in home sales year-over-year. The average prices were up by 10.5%. 

Windsor-Essex, an area close to Aphria l with over 1,000 employees, is one region being watched for real estate spikes; along with the area surrounding Wentworth, Nova Scotia due to Breathing Green Solutions close by.

In America…

2021 report found that U.S cities who allow adult use cannabis retail stores saw home values increase $22,888 more than the cities where cannabis remains illegal with property values increasing by $519 with each new store opening its doors.

“Overall, we found marijuana legalization leads to higher property values and millions of dollars in new tax revenue,” the report reads.

All U.S. states that legalized cannabis for adult use in 2016 saw their average home values increase:

  1. Michigan’s average home value increased by about 18%.
  2. California’s average home value increased by about 14%.
  3. Maine saw a roughly 15% increase in the average home’s value.
  4. There was a 27% increase in the average home’s value in Nevada.
  5. Massachusetts’ average home’s value increased by approximately 14%.

Cities with more cannabis retail stores are positively correlated with higher home values, according to the report. This reinforces the idea that cannabis legalization expands job opportunities and nourishes the local economy. 

Beyond Homes… 

Homes aren’t the only benefactors with Penn State reporting hotel revenue increased by $130 million in 2012 when Colorado legalized adult use cannabis.

A survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors found the following in the states where cannabis recently became legal.

  • A 23% increase in the demand in storefronts.
  • A 18% to 28% increase in the demand for land.
  • A 35% to 36% increase in the demand for warehouses.

Our Take

We have said it once, and we will say it again — Legalizing cannabis is unequivocally good for business.

Legalizing cannabis might not double the prices of homes, however, with a house being the primary assets most adults own today, even a 10% increase in property prices has a profoundly positive impact for homeowners in these regions.

For the opportunists, there’s likely a big opportunity to capitalize on these price increases in the regions on track to legalize cannabis in the coming years.

TOP OF MIND

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Top Cannabis Articles: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has provided an update on his plans to legalize cannabis in the United States.

Trending On Twitter: During these turbulent times it can be hard to appreciate just how good we have it. Steph Smith from Trends shared an amazing image that perfectly illustrates all of the progress we have made in the last 200 years.