Missourians can expect to see recreational marijuana sold in February 2023 after voters approve Amendment 3

What's next for marijuana after Amendment 3 passes
What's next for marijuana after Amendment 3 passes
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 7:08 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Recreational marijuana was on Missourians ballots as Amendment 3 during the midterms. It legalized weed and removed arrests and convictions for non-violent marijuana offenses.

53% of voting Missourians approved this amendment on Tuesday, but with the race being very close, it’s leaving mixed reviews by people across the Metro.

February 2023 is when people can expect to see recreational marijuana at dispensaries. By that date, inspections should be finished to authorize existing dispensaries to sell both medically and recreationally.

Amendment 3 will be added to the state’s constitution on December 8th. When that happens, dispensaries are able to apply for a license to sell recreationally.

Greenlight Dispensaries partner Thomas Bommarito said this will bring about $40 million in revenue to the state, while also adding thousands of jobs.

“The industry’s gonna blow up,” Bommarito said. “It really will. I think it’ll double. We created 7,700 jobs last year in our industry. I think that’ll jump to 14,000 by February. We need more people to service these new customers.”

Bommarito said this will also allow Missourians to buy safe and tested cannabis.

“Right now I would not take the risk of buying something on the street,” Bommarito said. “I mean you don’t know who you’re dealing with. You could put yourself in bad jeopardy that way. Also what is in that product. We have a lot of stuff going on with the border right now and lots of drugs coming across there.”

You must be 21-years-old to buy and possess marijuana when the amendment takes effect.

Although it’s for adult use, it’s concerning for the organization PreventEd. Executive director Nichole Dawsey said she’s primarily concerned with how this will impact young people in Missouri.

“21 as a age of use legality wise does not prevent kids from using substances,” Dawsey said. “Kids are very smart. Teenagers are very intelligent and what they know is that what they see happening is something that for better or worse sends a message that it’s okay for them to do.”

PreventEd said its work is just starting, making sure those regulations of the cannabis and dispensaries stay in place. Dawsey said Amendment 3 passing has an impact on public health.

The goal moving forward for PreventEd is to make sure parents have conversations with their kids around marijuana so they can stay safe. Resources for how parents can talk to their children can be found on the website Talk About It Mo.

Amendment 3 will also allow courts to expunge records of all non-violent marijuana crimes, except for sales to minors or driving under the influence.

Legal Missouri 2022 campaign manager John Payne said he’s been pushing for this for years.

“That’s a whole lot of people that this has touched in a negative way over the years and we’re gonna put an end to it and then also begin to rectify those past wrongs,” Payne said. “That’s a really major reform in the state.”