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'It's a great step forward': Dispensaries, customers react to legalized recreational cannabis sales

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Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-03 19:30:19-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Medical marijuana dispensaries received emails from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Friday morning saying that their comprehensive licenses, allowing both recreational and medicinal uses, have been approved.

Once those converted licenses are approved, the dispensary can begin selling as soon as they are ready.

From the Earth, a local dispensary located throughout the Kansas City area, says its management woke up in the morning around 6 a.m. to find out all five of its locations were granted comprehensive licenses early.

“This is our Super Bowl. We’re ready, like, it’s very exciting,” said Adam Diltz, a partner at From the Earth.

Diltz and his staff have been working towards this moment since 2018 when medicinal cannabis sales were approved in Missouri.

They will be ramping up marketing plans to get the word out about the state’s approval and hope to grow their daily foot traffic from 150 customers to a thousand.

“It helps you know. This is a tough business. From a tax standpoint, we don’t get the same business deductions that normal businesses get,” Diltz said. "Now with volume, you’re at least starting to make some money and hopefully make some investors happy.”

Phones were ringing off the hook at the business’s Brookside location on Friday morning.

KSHB 41 caught the very first recreational buyer at that location.

“I think for Kansas City it shows us that as a city we’re open-minded and growing. And I think it shows really the diversity of our city,” Shelbi Gottula said. “I think it’s a great step forward for Missouri, especially just because it’s been such a conservative state and whatnot. So I think it’s nice that we’re branching out and keeping our minds open to more options.”

For 73-year-old Julius Bunn, he waited 57 years for this historic day.

“A long time coming," Bunn said. “I’ve signed all the petitions when they came, I did anything.”

Bunn and other customers like Adrienne Flack used to travel to Colorado in order to enjoy recreational marijuana legally.

Flack says she supports the change in more ways than one.

Being able to come to your hometown and just walk right down the street, walking in and actually being allowed to do something that’s typically against the law in most places, it’s kind of relieving,” Flack said.

Diltz says it is a pivotal day for Missourians, but the work is far from over.

It is still their mission to de-stigmatize the industry and work towards cannabis criminal justice reform.

“Missouri is doing an amazing job, best in the country, at already expunging people’s records like they promised with this constitutional amendment," Diltz said. "But that is like a big thing that we still like to emphasize. You know there’s still people sitting in a jail cell today while we go through all this."