Last week Missouri legalized recreational cannabis and become the first state in the nation where voters approved a program for the automatic expungement of prior marijuana convictions. With the legalization bill, which won by a comfortable margin, the is state expanding its current medical marijuana program by allowing existing licensees to serve both medical and non-medical consumers.

While legalization is a milestone in itself, benefiting existing marijuana operators will no doubt impact the state’s economy and create a pathway for publicly traded cannabis companies.

Under Missouri’s current regulations, MMJ facilities cannot be owned, in whole or in part, by an individual with a disqualifying felony offense. This includes all shareholders of a company, no matter how small a part of a facility they would own.

Private cannabis companies based in Missouri include Grön, the woman-led producer of handcrafted cannabis-infused edibles; Treez a commerce tech platform that monitors the industry's retail and supply chain and the vertically-integrated, multi-state operator (MSO) Greenlight. To learn more about what cannabis reform means for existing and future companies and for Missouri in general, Benzinga reached out to all three.

Cannabis Legalization Is Normalizing

“We are excited to start expanding our production and supply to meet the demands of the adult-use market,” Draper Bender president of Grön told Benzinga. “Right now we are currently only offering our Sugar Coated Pearls and our MEGAs but with recent events, we plan on bringing all of our current product offerings as we expand into larger production. With legalization comes new employment and collaboration opportunities, and we look forward to creating more jobs and empowering our community.”

For John …

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