Funds transferred to beneficiaries of state’s marijuana programs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – On Tuesday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) transferred $13 million in funds from Missouri’s medical marijuana program to the Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC). This marks the fifth transfer to date, for a total of $39,978,820, since the medical program was formed in late 2018.


Additionally, DHSS transferred $3,836,919 in funds generated by Missouri’s adult use marijuana program to agencies as outlined in Article XIV, Section 2, of the Missouri Constitution. Recipient agencies of adult use program funds include the following:


·MVC ($1,278,973): for use exclusively for health care and other services for military veterans and their dependent families;


·Missouri State Public Defender ($1,278,973): to be used only for legal assistance for low-income Missourians;


·DHSS ($1,278,973): to operate a grant program for subrecipients to increase access to evidence-based, low-barrier drug addiction treatment prioritizing medically proven treatment and overdose prevention and reversal methods and public or private treatment options with an emphasis on reintegrating recipients into their local communities, to support overdose prevention education, and to support job placement, housing, and counseling for those with substance use disorders.


Missourians voted in November 2018 to adopt Constitutional Amendment 2, known now as Article XIV, Section 1. The amendment includes a provision requiring that fees and taxes generated by the medical marijuana program, less operational expenses, be transferred to the MVC for health and care services for military veterans. Article XIV, Section 1, states that medical marijuana sold in licensed dispensaries is to be (state) taxed at a rate of 4 percent.


In November 2022, Missouri voters approved an additional amendment. Less the program operational expenses and funds necessary to carry out responsibilities in the expungement of criminal history records, Article XIV was amended to include provisions requiring that fees and taxes generated by the adult use marijuana program be transferred to MVC, Missouri State Public Defender and DHSS for purposes outlined above. Article XIV, Section 2, states that adult use marijuana sold in licensed dispensaries is to be (state) taxed at a rate of 6 percent.


“It is incredible that Missouri voters passed the adult use amendment less than one year ago, and we are now starting to see the financial impact the program’s success will have on multiple organizations and the Missourians they serve,” said Amy Moore, Director of the Division of Cannabis Regulation with DHSS.


MVC Executive Director Paul Kirchhoff added, “These funds will help MVC continue to support the existing infrastructure of our seven Veterans Homes.”


Funds transfers will continue to occur on an annual basis. To learn more about Missouri’s medical and adult use marijuana programs, visit Cannabis.Mo.Gov.