How to Open a Dispensary in Missouri

Opening a Dispensary in Missouri

In 2018, Missouri legalized medical cannabis. In 2022, Missouri inched closer to allowing recreational sales. A ballot measure has been approved for a vote in November of 2022. Missouri may soon become a possible option for those looking to start their own dispensary. There is immense potential for the state and BLAZE is ready to help!

In this post, we’re covering all the basics you need to know to open a cannabis dispensary in Missouri. 


The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) oversees reviewing applications and approving patient and dispensary licenses. Recreational licenses aren’t available currently as recreational use is not legal. However, when recreational cannabis does become legal, this department will oversee it as well.

To apply for a license you’ll need to fill out all cannabis and business applications. In Missouri, there are four types of licenses:





There is a $6,000 application fee and a $10,000 annual renewal fee. 

Any entity may be issued up to 5 dispensary licenses, 3 cultivation licenses, or 3 manufacturing licenses.


How to run a cannabis dispensary is all about location. After your conditional license is approved, you’ll likely have several restrictions on where to open up shop. These may include:

  • Must be suitable for public access 
  • Layout must be conducive to the safe dispensation of cannabis 
  • Must have adequate size, lighting, power allocation, product handling, and storage 
  • Must have adequate parking and handicapped-accessible entry and exit spaces
  • Cannot be located within 1,000 feet of another dispensary, school, residential zone, or place of worship. 

Cost of Business Operations

Upfront costs for running a cannabis retail business in Missouri run from $85,000 to $150,000. That includes real estate, equipment, and security. Monthly operating costs will be between $30,000 and $60,000 monthly. These costs may be higher depending on your business size and location. This also does not include the fees associated with licensing.

Operating expenses include:

  • Lease: typically runs between $2 and $20,000, 
  • Attorney costs: about $3,000 
  • Payroll for staff: around $10,000-$15,000
  • Marketing: around $2,000
  • Minimum working capital for $100 revenue/month: between $9,000 and $20,000
  • Other business costs: $2,000-$4,000


Here’s what you should expect to pay your dispensary staff in Missouri:

  • Budtender: $35k annually
  • Floor manager: $55k annually
  • Compliance/inventory manager: $70k annually

Properly trained and paid staff will pay off dividends in running your cannabis dispensary in Missouri. They’ll also play a big role in cannabis dispensary customer retention.


Regulations require your dispensary business plan to detail how you plan to prevent theft and other crime from occurring in and around your property. This plan must outline safety procedures that protect customers and staff in the event of a break-in, as well as detailed protocols for storing and delivering cannabis products record-keeping, and cash handling. 

Marketing and Promotion

Missouri does allow dispensaries to market themselves and their products on print, social media, and online; however, promotional advertising is not permitted. Advertising must focus on branding.

The state prohibits dispensaries from advertising their marijuana businesses in public transit, within 1,000 feet of hospitals, recreational centers, schools, and public libraries, and on any public property.  

And Finally, Technology

BLAZE Software in Missouri

Running a cannabis dispensary in Missouri requires state-of-the-art point-of-sale technology, and we’ve got you covered there. Blaze handles all your technology needs, with seed-to-sale software, specialized cannabis distribution software, and a sophisticated suite of dispensary POS software to help you manage everything from growing to selling cannabis in Missouri. 


Opening up a dispensary is challenging, but can be incredibly lucrative for those who do. The cannabis industry is growing rapidly and cannabis use is on the rise in every adult demographic. States all across the country are reporting significant revenue from their growing cannabis industries and Missouri may join them if recreational sales are legalized. That’s why now is the perfect time to get started. 

Dispensaries that use BLAZE cannabis POS software have a major advantage. Our seed-to-sale software enables vertical integration that can elevate your dispensary to new heights. BLAZE retail software takes the worry out of inventory management and reporting. And powerful integrations make sure you’re covered on all fronts – from cultivation to compliance, and even delivery. Book a demo with BLAZE today if you’d like to open a dispensary in the simplest way possible.

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