MO weed sales starting earlier than expected. What to know before you hit up a dispensary
To ring in the era of recreational marijuana, Kansas City’s dispensaries are getting ready for sales by offering special deals, increasing inventory and offering new products.
By Monday, Feb. 6, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will license dispensaries across Missouri to sell recreational weed to adults, but the state announced Thursday that many dispensaries will be granted their licenses earlier — as soon as Friday morning.
That means that recreational users will be able to buy weed in Missouri over the weekend.
“Anybody can come in and buy,” said Chris McHugh of Vertical Cannabis in St. Joseph. “You don’t even have to be a resident as long as you’re 21 years or older. All you need is your ID, and your shopping experience would be kind of like any other place like a beer and wine store.”
In order to confirm that your dispensary of choice received its license early on Friday, it might be wise to call or check social media first.
What to know before you go
For those who are trying marijuana for the first time, Bianca Sullivan, who owns Fresh Green, which has two Kansas City area locations, suggests taking it slow and trying products with less THC to start.
For people that have never used before, Sullivan said to try edibles like gummies or vape pens. For example, Sullivan said first time users who buy a vape pen should only take one puff at a time until they can gauge how the product works for them. If a new user buys an edible like gummies, they should start with just one gummy at a time.
The products you’ll be able to buy as a recreational user aren’t any different from the products you can buy as a medical user, according to McHugh. There aren’t separate ‘medical’ or ‘recreational’ weed products.
The taxes you pay will depend on what credentials you bring with you to the dispensary — medical users will need to bring their medical card and ID, and recreational users will only need to bring an ID to show they’re at least 21 years old.
Marijuana has an added state tax of 4% for medical users, and 6% for recreational users, on top of normal state and local sales taxes.
Celebrations around Kansas City
Local Cannabis Company will commemorate the start of legal recreational sales with a celebration on Monday at its location at 1004 W 45th St., at the corner of 45th Street and Belleview Avenue.
The celebration will start at 9 a.m. on Monday, and there will be free cannabis giveaways for the first 250 customers. There will also be music, light snacks, raffle prizes and promotions on weed products.
On Monday, Elevate MO dispensaries will have food trucks between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at its Kansas City North location at 4716 Northeast Vivion Road. At all three Elevate MO locations will be celebrating with special products and educational opportunities for people who want to learn more about each product in a one-on-one confidential setting.
“End of Prohibition” Packs
Elevate MO will be ushering in the first day of recreational sales with “End of Prohibition” packs, which will have a number of products. The packs will cost $75 and will come with 3.5 grams of flower, one pre-roll, one gram of concentrate and more.
From The Earth, which has five dispensaries in the Kansas City metro area, is offering beginner-friendly products called “Illicit Intros” from the cannabis brand Illicit. The product line will include an array of items, including flower, pre-rolls and low-dose gummies. The products will all be from selected strains of marijuana that have less THC and offer a less intense high.
“The products were specifically created for people who are new to cannabis or haven’t consumed cannabis in a while and are worried about having an overwhelming first time experience,” said David Craig, a spokesperson for From The Earth.
Vertical Cannabis will be introducing moonrocks to their menu for the first time on Feb. 6. Moonrocks is a type of cannabis flower that has been coated in a cannabis concentrate. Moonrocks are exciting for marijuana enthusiasts who enjoy a more intense experience, as the products are typically higher in THC.
Weed sales have begun in Missouri. Here are Kansas City dispensaries where you can buy
Will there be crowds?
Customers hoping to get their weed as soon as dispensaries start selling should be ready for potentially longer checkout lines.
Local dispensary owners told The Star that supply may seem limited at particular locations as the dispensaries figure out just how much recreational legalization will affect their demand.
Some spots are adding checkout points, encouraging folks to order online and adding more seating and parking in anticipation of more customers.
It’s still unclear how the move to instead of waiting until the originally announced date of Monday, Feb. 6 will affect business and crowds over the weekend.
Besame Wellness Dispensaries, which has three locations in the metro, is doubling its staff, increasing its inventory and implementing additional security measures at its locations.
“We really take pride in our customer service,” Besame Wellness vice president of retail operations Joey Pintozzi said. “So with the uptick of business and the people now getting fair access, we want to ensure the same quality service that we always have provided.”
From the Earth dispensaries are hiring more staff and encouraging customers to use their website to expedite their experience in the store. From the Earth’s Brookside location has a drive through specifically for online orders.
Vertical Cannabis is also hiring and adding more capacity in its parking lots for more customers.
“We’re expecting the first couple of weeks to be just really crazy, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure that people are not stuck in long lines,” said Craig.