35,000 Missouri patients already have medical marijuana OK

Local News

T.K. Killian, right, speaks with Blue Key operator Jim Thomas at a marijuana business conference in St. Louis on Tuesday, March 2, 2020. Missouri’s new medical marijuana program is preparing to begin retail sales later this year. (AP Photo by Jim Salter)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Medical marijuana sales in Missouri won’t likely begin until the second half of 2020, but the state health department has already approved more than 35,000 patients who want to use the drug, far exceeding projections.

Missouri’s medical marijuana director, Lyndall Fraker, said Monday that psychological disorders are the No. 1 reason for patient requests, followed by chronic medical conditions. The 35,532 awarded applicants far exceed projections by researchers with the University of Missouri’s Economic and Policy Analysis Research Center for this early in the process.

Missouri voters approved medical marijuana in November 2018.

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