By Kay Wilson

A relatively new business concept, Sunrise Dispensary, located on Maryville’s south side, has seen growth in client counts astronomically since adult-use marijuana became legal just a month ago.

Sunrise opened its doors, located at 2316 South Main, just a year ago with medical marijuana offered to customers who received doctors orders. Now, with the election passage of recreational marijuana sales in November, the business model has evolved into a new retail store which has seen its sales triple. The clean appearance has a standard routine to handle the large numbers of customers. People come to the reception desk, show their photo identification, which verifies the over 21 age restriction and then proceed to a cue area. The customer service employees take only a small number of customers, like three or four, to the retail area of the business. There are surveying cameras posted throughout the retail area and the footage from those cameras is made available to state enforcers who monitor the sales and handling of all products.

Once in the retail area, the consumer can choose to shop the medical products or the adult use, sometimes called recreational items. The number of possibilities is quite large with digital rolling menus denoting “Flowers,” “Pre-Rolls,” “Edibles” and “Topicals” as categories.  Retail sales personnel, who stress quality customer service, work one-on-one with each person who, if they are an adult-use customer, can choose from the entire floor of products. While the products of flower buds, rolled into a cigarette-type or edibles of all sorts, the purchase is handled with extreme professionalism. Placing the product in an opaque bag that is sealed with a label which describes the contents, time and date of the transaction. The average customer spends approximately $100 per visit, with some discounts offered. The reach of the Maryville retail outlet spans surrounding states of Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa; plus customers from Minnesota have been in the store. Many times during the peak retail hours, the parking lot is full with flow-over in the adjacent businesses’ lots, when that business is not open.

All purchases must be made with cash and to aid the customer, there are two ATM machines on the retail floor. The state sales tax is different for adult-use, six percent, while the medical purchase, accompanied with a card and doctors’ orders will pay only four percent to the state. The City of Maryville has placed a possible sales tax of an additional three percent on the April 4 Municipal Election ballot for the town’s voters to decide.

Sean Carriger, president of the Show-Me Sunrise company, reported there are four other dispensaries that his company owns: Macon, where the grow operation is, Kansas City, St. Louis and Clinton. His grow operation accounts for about half of the product they sell in the dispensaries. One that is quite popular and Carriger sells also on a whole sale basis is named Willie’s Reserve, named for the country music star Willie Nelson, is priced at $40 per 3.5 grams. Another that is exclusive to his grow operation is Farmer G, which retails at $32 per 3.5 gram. This flower, which is attributed to the founder of the company,  is touted on t-shirts and other merchandise at the Sunrise Dispensary in Maryville. Several of his products have the CBD properties as well as an infusion of THC.

There are more retail shops in the plans of the company’s future.


Carriger’s company’s grow operation, which is looking at a 100,000 square foot expansion, as well as his retail shops, which are regulated by the Missouri Department of Public Safety and the state department of health services, employ 150 people. He and his family are located in Kansas City. His history with the cannabis industry goes back a decade when the State of Colorado first began the licensing of the merchandising of the marijuana. He also works for operations in the state of Oregon. He holds a Texas A&M degree in environmental management and a master of business administration from the University of Houston.

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