On Thursday the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services completed the second transfer of over $6 million from Missouri’s medical marijuana program to the Missouri Veterans Commission.
The MVC is a state agency that tries to provide aid to all veterans, as well as their dependents and legal representatives. It also provides veterans with nursing care, security benefits and a dignified resting place.
Back in November 2018, Missourians voted to adopt Constitutional Amendment 2, or Article XIV, which included a provision requiring fees and taxes generated by the medical marijuana program to be transferred to the MVC.
Medical marijuana sold in licensed dispensaries is taxed at 4%. Since the start of sales in October 2020, dispensaries have made over $113 million. That’s where the $6,843,310 transferred Thursday came from.
“MVC will use these funds for veterans’ health and safety initiatives designated in House Bill 8,” said Paul Kirchhoff, Missouri Veterans Commission executive director in a news release. “A portion of these funds will also be used to complete the Missouri Veterans Cemetery – Jacksonville columbarium wall.”
Lyndall Fraker, director of the Section of Medical Marijuana Regulation with DHSS, said in a news release that there are currently over 140 dispensary facilities in Missouri.
Brandon Ray, a bud tender at Green Releaf, said business is going well.
“Now that we finally have a consistent amount of product, (business is) definitely getting pretty steady now,” he said.
Ray thinks the tax going to the Veteran’s Commission is a great idea and said many veterans have come into the store saying they appreciate it.
Overall, on the business side, he said people seem not to mind the tax. “For the most part, it’s been accepted with open arms.”