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Marijuana Legalization

Missouri tops $12 million in marijuana sales during opening rec weekend



The numbers are in: Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services today offered the first glimpse into just how well the Show-Me State’s first weekend of recreational cannabis sales went.

On Friday, Feb. 3, Missouri’s 198 operating dispensaries combined to sell more than $3 million in recreational marijuana and nearly $2 million in medical cannabis. On Saturday, rec sales eclipsed $3.3 million and medical sales dipped to $1.3 million. Consumers in the Show-Me State scaled back on Sunday, buying close to $2.2 million in adult-use marijuana and about $900,000 in medical product.

The weekend saw a grand total of $12.7 million in weed sales, $8.5 million coming from recreational buyers and the other $4.2 million coming from medical cardholders.


How to find the legal weed stores opening in Missouri

After a big weekend, stores settle into a normal groove

Last week state officials suprised nearly everyone by giving stores the green light to go ahead with adult-use weed sales on Friday, rather than wait until Monday, as was expected. That kicked off a busy weekend for consumers, who went looking for their nearest store, and retailers, who saw an early surge in sales.

By Monday morning, things had calmed down. A tour of St. Louis-area stores found a smattering of curious customers served by budtenders still catching their breath.

The waiting room at Root66 South Grand sat empty shortly after the popular store opened at 10 a.m. Monday. But the weekend was another story, according to budtender Patrick O’Donnell. After serving some 40 paying customers each day during the medical–only era, the Root66 location — one of three Root66 stores in St. Louis — saw upwards of 200 paying customers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend when state authorities turned the switch to rec.


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“Absolutely insane,” O’Donnell said. “We had lines of people from the time we opened to pretty much the minute we closed.”

Root66 employees found out late last Thursday night that Missouri could start rec sales last Friday instead of today, O’Donnell said. They learned the dispensary had the green light for adult use at 6 a.m. Friday, and met the exciting day with mixed feelings.

They’d slowly been loading up the dispensary, a converted former McDonald’s restaurant, for weeks. Even so, the early start had Root66 out of stock for nearly one-third of its preroll menu.

Customers packed the store’s waiting rooms by the dozen over the weekend, with some 20 to 25 people waiting at a time. Thankfully, lines didn’t get long enough to leave customers outside in the freezing St. Louis cold.

No lines, no waiting on Monday morning

St. Louis resident Deion Harris stopped by Root66 Monday morning to reload on “Fruit by the Foot” pre-rolls. (Photo: Chris Kudialis for Leafly)

Local resident Deion Harris visited Monday morning to load up on Root66’s popular “Fruit by the Foot” pre-rolls, after burning through the inventory he bought on Friday. Three half-gram joints, sold for $14, was enough to get through one evening, Harris said. But he tripled his order on Monday morning.

“I’m really glad this day is here and that we can all buy legitimate cannabis,” he said. “It’s still mostly cheaper on the street, but you’re definitely getting what you pay for here.”

Viola in St. Louis: Yes, it’s actually open

Pro tip: It’s already open. Despite its Coming Soon sign, the store owned by ex-NBA stars is already serving the people of St. Louis. (Photo: Chris Kudialis for Leafly)

Former NBA stars Al Harrington and Larry Hughes announced just two weeks ago they’d be opening downtown St. Louis’ first dispensary and the city’s only Black-owned weed store. Built right across a small crosswalk from a hulking new Major League Soccer stadium and just down the road from St. Louis’ hockey and baseball stadiums, Viola STL couldn’t have found a better spot for reaching the tens of thousands of sports fans that grace the area nearly every night.

Fast forward two weeks after Harrington and Hughes’ announcement, and a giant sign above Viola’s front entrance still says “Coming Soon.” But guess what: It’s actually open.

The door is unlocked and leads to a waiting room, and then a shopping area where a staff of three smiling budtenders stand ready to serve customers.

The weed for sale is from the grow houses of rival dispensaries: Good Day Farm, Prosper Cannabis and Illicit. But there’s no doubt the much ballyhooed store is already up and running, if not thriving.

“We’re going to have our own flower in here very soon,” said Managing Partner Dan Pettigrew. “We’re really excited to become a big part of this community and Missouri’s industry.”

Good Day Farm: ‘It’s been a fun craziness’

Good Day Farm’s Brand Manager Luke Gerau shows off the company’s smorgasbord of edibles behind a display table where customers can lift glass coverings to smell samples of popular flower terpene profiles. (Photo: Chris Kudialis for Leafly)

Staffers at Good Day Farm St. Louis spent more than a month building up the store’s inventory for an expected rush of pot buyers on Monday—only to have them show up on Friday. Good Day Farms saw over three times as many paying customers during its first weekend of rec than a typical medical-only weekend. They expect to see that trend to continue in the days ahead.

“The early start was a blessing in disguise because it staggered out the rush and made us more accessible,” said Luke Gerau, Good Day’s brand manager. “We got a ton of customers and it didn’t require anyone having to wait in long lines.”

As part of Good Day expanding its team (200 employees across its 19 dispensaries in Missouri) the number of budtenders at the St. Louis store at any given time expanded from three to five. On Monday morning, the beefed-up staff offered extra assistance to a pair of customers who had the shopping floor all to themselves.

The customers, brothers from St. Louis in their 30s, asked not to be identified. But they smiled as they walked out of the dispensary with eighths of Blueberry Headband and Poison OG flower.

“Enough to get us high,” one of them cracked.

Laurie Gregory, Good Day’s chief marketing officer, said the majority of the products flying off the store’s shelves are flower goodies like pre-rolls and eighths, but added that concentrates and edibles each make up about 15 of total sales. The company also grows and sells Titty Sprinkles, one of Missouri’s most popular strains whose grower donates a portion of proceeds to breast cancer research groups.

“It’s been a crazy few days,” Gregory said, “but it’s a fun craziness.”

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Floridians Worried About Governor Leaking Health Info




In a shocking surprise…medical marijuana patients, including veterans, may have had their information leaked thanks to the Governor.

Florida voters have overwhelmingly approved of marijuana use in the sunshine state.  In the first election for medical marijuana, over 60% of citizens voted yes. Governor DeSantis said too bad. In the second vote, the approve vote was 71% and the Governor said the public didn’t understand and he slow rolled it out. Now he is working on trying to block a third vote for recreational. But the latest action has left citizens stunned, now Floridans worried about governor leaking health info for an email campaign.

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Science, the American Medical Association and the federal Health and Human Services department all agree cannabis can benefit patients with a variety of ailments. Medical marijuana is recognized as a treatment for  PTSD, chronic pain, cancer and more. More research will unlock additional information about the plant, but it is a good start and is one of the basis for rescheduling. HIPAA is law passed in 1996 aimed to alter the transfer of healthcare information, stipulated the guidelines by which personally identifiable information maintained by the healthcare and healthcare insurance industries should be protected from fraud and theft.  Somewhere it slipped in Florida.

Governor DeSantis Wants It Both Ways On Marijuana
Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Florida’s Department of Health recently emailed nearly 700,000 medical marijuana patients, praising Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The email promoted achievements of the governor and how it helps them. This is despite is overwhelming opposition not to just  recreational cannabis use and legalization, but also the original law which allowed them be prescribed medical marijuana.

The email also praised a cancer research program promoted by first lady Casey DeSantis, listed health issues like HIV, hepatitis and syphilis that are in the spending plan and gave a message from Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo that he and DeSantis are “advancing public health and personal responsibility in Florida.”

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Medical marijuana patients and advocates say the DeSantis administration violated their privacy by using the patient list to promote policy.

“That is revolting. That is really such a misuse of power and information,” said state Rep. Kelly Skidmore, the ranking Democrat on the House Health Policy Committee.

The Department of Health said it didn’t single out medical marijuana patients, but rather sent the budget statement to everyone in its email databases apparently to promote the Governor and First Lady.

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Some Congressional Candidates Support Marijuana




It used to be the thing to prevent marijuana use

Roughly 65% of Congress members are white men around 60 or older who grew up supporting the war on drugs.  One of the leaders of the Senate is Mitch McConnell, who prides himself for stopping any positive marijuana legislation and bragging about his nickname Darth Vader.  But time are changing, especial the last major election cycle. Since then, over 50% of the population have full access to legal marijuana and 24 states have been raking in extra tax revenue thanks to consumer sales.  And now some congressional candidates support marijuana, openly.

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Up until the 2000s, it was normal for candidates to be anti-drugs, down on marijuana and, sometimes, hiding their personal use. But with the wave of state legalizations, most modern and under 60 (with a couple of exceptions) have a more open and practical mind.  Especially since of Veteran Affairs has become more open. Their new policy is veterans participating in a state-sanctioned medical marijuana program will not be denied benefits.

One modern candidate is Lucas Kunce (D-M)) who is running for the Senate. With six million residents, it is the 18th most populated in the country. Yet, the state hit $1 billion in sales. Kunce recognizes it and is pushing for national legalization, including a sign up on his  campaign page.

Indiana Fifth Congressional District candidate Raju Chinthal is also promoting a national campaign.

Maine’s Jared Golden has been an advocate for cannabis-related matters.

Elise Slotkin in Michigan states on her campaign site. “I strongly believe that for this matter, voters should be able to decide…I support the use of medical marijuana…I also support the decriminalization of marijuana.”

No surprise in California in the tight 47th district race candidate Dave Min is pro marijuana.  He voted yes for the state to legalize marijuana.

In New York, Mondaire Jones has openly supported marijuana and doesn’t seem to have a hand in the NY State mess.

And in Pennsylvania, Matt Cartwright has been supportive.

RELATED: California or New York, Which Has The Biggest Marijuana Mess

Legal cannabis is no longer a public no no, 85% of the country (and voters), believe it should be legal in some form. But like other issues, Congress doesn’t always listen to the public.

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Andrew Mellon

The Gilded Age Heiress Who Helped The Marijuana Movement




Shows like Downtown Abbey, Palm Royale, and more have showed the  big, big rich lives – and a few even touched the marijuana counterculture movement.

It seems we can’t get enough about the lives of the very rich. Shows including Downtown Abbey, Succession, the Gilded Age, and Palm Royale are all over and people are loving it. Ryan Murphy has done well and is just off his latest series Truman Vs.The Swans.  All of this highlights the extremely well to do and how they live life.  But did you know about the gilded age Heiress who helped the marijuana movement?

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The Mellon family is in the rare category of being big then and still today. On the East Coast they continue to still have pull and cache like the “new money” Gates, Zuckerberg and Bezos.   An old family from Pittsburgh, they made the start of it all in banking, the Mellon in today’s BNY Mellon. The family includes Andrew Mellon, one of the longest serving Treasury Secretaries, along with famous members in the judicial, banking, financial, business, and political professions.  Bunny Mellon was one of the great philanthropists and art collectors.  A dear friend of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, she designed a number of significant gardens, including the White House Rose Garden

But it was Peggy Mellon Hitchcock, another Mellon heiress who helped the counterculture. Her mother was a Mellon and her father, Thomas Hitchcock Jr., was a leading polo player and a partner at Lehman Brothers.  Peggy was a spitfire and was as comfortable in the family’s many homes as in a smokey jazz club with artists. Spirited and fun she was always open to what’s new and what’s next.  She had an unlikely relationship with Timothy O’Leary. She persuaded her brothers to let O’Leary have use of their joint family estate Daheim (also known as Millbrook or the Hitchcock estate).

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For 5 years, O’Leary, thanks to Peggy lived like a king and had guests including Allen Ginsberg, Charles Mingus, and R. D. Laing to the old monied manse. What went on is the stuff of legends with a blend of art, marijuana, money, new ideas, psychedelics, music and love. The The New York Times’ Luc Sante, described it as “a period filled with endless parties, epiphanies and breakdowns, emotional dramas of all sizes, and numerous raids and arrests.” Nina Grabol shared it was “a cross between a country club, a madhouse, a research institute, a monastery, and a Fellini movie set.”

Peggy was responsible for helping the counterculture rest, regroup, and move forward.  Who knew this would be the early path to rescheduling?

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