Hippos Cannabis has a 40,000-square-foot production facility in Vienna, Missouri, a town of 600 people that’s just 30 minutes north of Rolla. Since Missouri’s recreational cannabis sales began in February, it has added 25 workers, bringing the total number of employees to 70.
“A lot of the employees were born and raised and went to high school in Vienna, and now they’re all working together,” said Nicholas Rinella, CEO of Hippos, which also includes three dispensaries elsewhere in Missouri. “So it’s a real community at the facility.”
Like other companies, Hippos is working on expanding its facility, where it largely makes jarred cannabis flower buds and pre-rolled joints, in order to ramp up production and keep cannabis dispensary shelves stocked.
“We didn’t know if Amendment 3 was going to pass,” Rinella said. “Once it did pass, what the industry had expected was a 2.5 times bump in sales. It ended up being closer to five to six times.” Missouri’s recreational cannabis sales came in at $91 million for April, according to a report the state released Friday. That’s up from February’s $71.7 million and on par with March’s $93.5 million — for a total of $256 million in the first three months. Adding in medical cannabis sales, Missouri hit $350 million in the first three months since the state has been able to sell recreational cannabis.
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