Cannabis Opportunities Attract Missourians

Missourians look to Washington state for cannabis opportunities.

By: Cecil King

Cannabis Opportunities Attract Missourians

Missouri’s hopeful cannabis entrepreneurs tired of waiting for the repeal of the Show-Me state’s business-blocking prohibition of cannabis should take a close look at the state of Washington to start their new cannabis businesses.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB), the regulatory office in charge of licensing retail cannabis shops, has increased the allowed number of retail outlets to 556.

The WSLCB originally limited the number of retail outlets to 334. Currently, pending and issued licenses from WSLCB total 305. The Cannabis Patient Protection Act allocated 222 additional license slots to accommodate medical-only dispensaries legislated out of existence on June 30, 2016. Medical-only shops had to obtain a retail license with a medical cannabis endorsement to stay in business.

Missourians dead set on establishing a retail cannabis business will find more than 250 open and available license slots all over the state of Washington. These opportunities won’t last.

In the heavily populated King County, which encompasses the Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue metropolitan statistical area, 14 of the 18 cities and townships still have half of their allocated retail cannabis license slots open. Only 56 licenses out of 102 available were issued in and around Seattle’s King County.

The King County cities of Federal Way, Kent, Sammamish and SeaTac have temporarily banned retail cannabis shops. Those eight licenses are not available. But, the remaining 13 cities are hanging “open for business signs” for Missourians ready to come on over and set up shop.

The state of Washington is formulating a new marketing campaign for prohibitionist states like Missouri to attract cannabis entrepreneurs to the state.

“You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free…
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don’t need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free…”

And, while you are setting yourself free of Missouri cannabis prohibition with a new Washington retail business plan, consider your new customer demographics and buying patterns.

“The median customer spends $645 on (legal) cannabis each year, and over 57% of customers spent more than $500,” statistics from a report by the cannabis intelligence firm Headset, Inc., (Headset.io), based in Seattle, WA. The company recently published a market insight report, “What does the average cannabis consumer look like?” in July 2016.

One of the most revealing facts completely blows away the stereotypical “stoner” image of a cannabis user. Customers in the their 40s and 50s purchase the highest yearly dollar amount of legal retail cannabis at $823 and $753 respectively. Yearly retail sales to customers in their 20s is only $627.

The average age of a male cannabis consumer is 37.4. Average age of a female cannabis consumer is slightly higher at 38.2. Data for the report was collected from 40,000 legal cannabis purchases made in the Washington market.

The market for new retail cannabis shops is wide open in Washington, especially for Missourians ready to leave the Show-Me State’s antiquated cannabis prohibition laws behind.