SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A new report from a medical marijuana business association said there are more than 200,000 patients who use medical marijuana in Missouri and sales have raised millions for veterans’ health care.

The report from MoCannTrade, the Missouri Medical Cannabis Association, said Missouri has surpassed 200,000 active medical marijuana patients and the industry has generated nearly $500 million in sales.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, there are 12,431 medical marijuana patients in Greene County.

Voters chose to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri in 2018.

MoCannTrade said patients in the state of Missouri have spent $494,139,809 in medical marijuana since the first dispensary opened in St. Louis County in October 2020. The taxes from those sales have raised $27 million in funding for veterans’ health care.

The first dispensary to open in Springfield welcomed its first customers in early November 2020.

MoCannTrade also said the industry has had an effect on the state’s job market, accounting for one out of every 10 new jobs created in 2021.

On November 8, 2022, voters will decide whether to approve recreational marijuana in Missouri. Amendment 3, also known as LegalMo22, would also expunge the criminal records of people who are in jail for non-violent marijuana offenses. There was a lawsuit disputing signatures gathered to get the amendment on the ballot, but a judge ruled it could go before voters.