Medical marijuana sales in Missouri are above $200 million since its legalization in October 2020. Nearly 17% of medical marijuana cards in Missouri are for mental health purposes, like depression, anxiety and PTSD.
Dispensaries like Green Releaf in Columbia see dozens of patients every day. After receiving a medical marijuana license, patients can enter any dispensary in Missouri and place an order with one of the company’s “bud-tenders.”
Andrew Nussbaum is a Green Releaf assistant manager who handles daily dispensary customers. He explained what working at a dispensary has been like since medical marijuana’s first sale in October 2020.
“A lot of people come in looking for things to deal with, mainly pain, insomnia, anxiety and depression, pretty much all things relating back to mental health,” Nussbaum said. “I would say maybe around 35% of people come in for conditions relating to [mental health].”
More than 3.6 million people around the country are estimated to be legal medical cannabis users. According to a study from the American Psychological Association, patients using medical marijuana for anxiety and depression were found to have “reduced clinical symptoms and a reduced use of opioids.”
Missouri legalized medical marijuana in November 2018, with the first legal sale in October