While Missouri has legalized medical marijuana for medical purposes, recreational use remains illegal. Voters in Missouri approved the law to legalize medical marijuana usage statewide in 2018, and the state has since begun issuing licenses for legalizing recreational marijuana businesses. Participating patients in the medicinal marijuana program were gradually introduced to sales when dispensaries became operational.
The law significantly softened penalties for marijuana possession. When the new laws were enacted in 2017, anybody caught with less than 10 grams of cannabis faced merely a fine.
Existing Missouri Marijuana Laws
Only patients with valid registrations may legally use medical marijuana. Voters have adopted the medical marijuana program Amendment 2 in 2018 as Missouri’s medical marijuana industry backs it up.
The crime of weed possession is no longer enforced. In 2014, a law was passed to legalize recreational marijuana. This law makes it legal to possess up to 10 grams of cannabis without facing criminal penalties. If the official bodies catch someone with 10 grams or less of marijuana, they will face a fine. However, the crime is still considered a misdemeanor. Large-scale cannabis possession is still a criminal offense.
Further, non-medical cultivation is still illegal. According to Class E felony, cultivating less than 35 grams carries a potential sentence of four years in jail and a fine of $10,000. Having 35 grams or more of cannabis on your person is a Class C felony. It also comes with three to ten years in jail and a fine of $10,000.However, many states allow the users to buy weed online legally that includes Alaska,california, arizona and many more.
Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill
It’s already legal to use marijuana for medical purposes. Two-thirds of Missouri voters approved a measure legalizing medical marijuana in 2018.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services provides a medical marijuana ID card. This card will allow users to buy the drug from a dispensary that the state has authorized. Within 30 days, a patient may only acquire 4 ounces of marijuana.
Possession of small amounts of marijuana is no longer strictly illegal under Missouri law. Possession of fewer than 10 grams carries a maximum punishment of $1,000 and possible misdemeanor charges.
The Ballot Measure
Residents’ medical licenses would be good for three years instead of one. The number of patients who may get goods from caregivers would increase by two. Moreover, buyers of marijuana would not need to be state residents.
People convicted of certain nonviolent marijuana crimes would pay a 6% excise tax on the retail price of marijuana to cover court expenses and legal expenditures linked to expungements. Spending priorities for the remaining funds include veteran healthcare, public defenders, and drug abuse treatment programs.
What Effects Would The Amendment Have On The Surrounding States?
Just one of Missouri’s eight neighboring states, Illinois, has fully decriminalized recreational marijuana use.
Medical marijuana is now allowed in Oklahoma and Arkansas, while possession of marijuana has been decriminalized in Nebraska. CBD flower with very low levels of THC is legal in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Iowa.
First-time offenders in Kansas City may be punished with up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine for marijuana possession, which is considered a Class B misdemeanor.
If the ballot item passes in Missouri, dispensaries might see more clients from Kansas. But they’ll be violating the law if they come back over the border into Kansas.
Taxation, Regulation, And The Eventual Legalization Of Marijuana
The State’s Department of Health and Senior Services is the single entity with jurisdiction over the licensing and revocation of marijuana enterprises and the imposing administrative fines on violators. To accommodate the state’s needs, it may also adjust any limitations on the total number of institutions.
The agency will create applications, certificates, and licenses for the marijuana industry, as well as tracking systems for the plants from seed to sale. It will also establish transport regulations between factories and shops.
The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) will hold a lottery to decide which applications will be granted licenses, except for preexisting medicinal marijuana businesses the state would grant into the authorized program.
Dispensaries and wholesaling facilities will open due to the state’s recreational program. They will only be able to do business with other micro businesses licensed under the state’s scheme. The amount of licenses for micro businesses awarded is up to the government’s discretion. Initially, it will only distribute six licenses.
Who Are The Micro-Businesses?
Micro-businesses are described as organizations in which the majority of users:
You or a member of your immediate family has been arrested, prosecuted, or convicted of a nonviolent weed offense (other than sale to a child or DUI). They may also be residents of a census tract or zip code where the poverty rate is 30% or higher. The unemployment rate is 50% greater than the state average.
Owners of microbusinesses are restricted from acquiring other complete marijuana facilities. But, they are free to seek further licenses and expand their activities outside the state’s microbusiness framework and into the wider market.
Companies may seek cultivation, dispensary, and/or production permits or any combination thereof. The application price is between $7,000 and $12,000, and the renewal charge is between $10,000 and $25,000 (depending on the facility). Each license is good for three years.
In the first 18 months of the program, the agency will only provide permits to existing medical marijuana dispensaries that apply to upgrade their licenses to full company operations.
The applicant can file an appeal when the agency turns down a license request. No lawmaker has the authority to intervene in the DHSS licensing procedure. The division has plans in place to ensure the privacy of all applicants.
The government can’t restrict anyone from buying less than three ounces of pot all at once.
Putting Taxes On Recreational Marijuana
The taxes for non-medical marijuana sales in Missouri are at a rate of 6%. The money will go toward the DHSS’s general running costs for the state’s leisure program. They will disperse funds to government entities to help implement the new expungement laws for criminal records.
The remainder will be distributed as follows: one-third to the Missouri Veterans Commission, one-third to the Public Defender System, and one-third to grants to improve drug addiction in the state.
To a maximum of 3%, municipalities may impose their tax on top of the state and federal rates.
Marijuana Usage For Enjoyment On An Individual Basis
Residents of Missouri over 21 are eligible to apply for personal cultivation permits, enabling them to grow twelve plants in their homes. The $150 yearly cost for these cards is for their one-year validity.
To determine whether a suspect has a medication card, local authorities would need to contact DHSS. The mere presence of marijuana would not justify a search. Further, police cannot issue probation and parole violations based on legitimate marijuana use.
What Conditions Qualify For A Marijuana Card In Missouri?
The proposed law would allow adults in Missouri to buy, use, possess, process, transport, and distribute up to three unprocessed ounces of dried marijuana.
If the law catches a Missouri resident with more than 3 ounces of marijuana, they might face a civil penalty of up to $250 in addition to seizing their marijuana.
In Missouri, valid medical marijuana cards can be obtained by people with the following conditions:
- Cancer, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, and unrelenting migraines refuse to respond to conventional medicine. Conditions including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome fall under chronic medical conditions that produce severe, persistent pain or muscular spasms.
- Disorders of the mind that cause significant impairment, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as diagnosed by a psychiatrist with the appropriate level of state licensure
- Sickness caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or AIDS
- Suppose your doctor thinks medical marijuana might help you manage your chronic medical condition and be a safer alternative to the drug you’re currently taking for it. In that case, you may be eligible to use it.
- Having a terminal disease
- Hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, autism, Huntington’s disease, neuropathies, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, sickle cell anemia, cachexia, and wasting syndrome, and any other chronic, debilitating, or other medical condition in the professional judgment of a physician.
- Where to find information on Missouri’s medicinal marijuana program
How To Obtain A Medical Card?
According to law, take the following steps to receive a medical marijuana identity card in Missouri:
- To fill out a physician certification form, applicants need to see a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is licensed to practice medicine in Missouri and is currently active in their profession.
- The doctor should send the certification to the State’s Health and Senior Services Agency.
- After receiving a certification, applicants must use the state’s online registration system to apply for an identity card. After reviewing the application, the state has 30 days to accept or reject it.
- When applying for or renewing your medical marijuana license, remember that your certificate cannot be older than 30 days.
Does Missouri Accept Health Insurance Cards From Other States?
Missouri has a strict law regarding the validity of medical marijuana cards. Medical marijuana cards issued in other states are not valid in Missouri.
What Is The Deadline For Renewing My Missouri Medicinal Marijuana Card?
You must renew your valid medical marijuana patient card in Missouri annually.
Regulations For Cannabis Farming In Missouri
Without a valid patient cultivator license, growing cannabis plants is illegal in Missouri.
In exchange for an extra fee paid with their medical marijuana license, patients may become cultivators and cultivate up to six marijuana plants for personal medicinal use.
Additionally, there are regulations concerning cooperative farming. Accordingly, in Missouri, only two people can grow plants side-by-side. Any combination of the allowed two (two patients or two carers) falls under this category.
The Missouri Constitution does provide for additional freedom regarding the number of plants permitted in a growing communal space, reading:
Twelve blooming marijuana plants, twelve nonflowering plants, and twelve clones are the most that two people can grow in a single enclosed area. To cultivate plants for the patient under her care and herself, the caregiver may add six additional flowering plants, six nonflowering plants, and six clones to the shared space if one of these two people is a physician with a valid cultivation ID. In no other scenario, many users can plan the three different patients’ plants in the same area.
Possession Law In Missouri
Although possession of 10 grams or less is no longer a crime in the state, it is still a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
According to Missouri law, patients with medicinal marijuana cards cannot use them publicly. Public places include parks, walkways, schools, and businesses because they are accessible to the general public.
Under the new regulations, the owner or entity of any such land may offer one or more enclosed, secluded places where one qualified patient may use medicinal marijuana, even if the property is located in a public area.
State Of Missouri Marijuana Impaired Driving Laws
Those caught driving under the influence of cannabis face the full force of the law in Missouri. The state’s Department of Health and Senior Services does not provide any kind of leniency.
However, the patient identification card does not afford personal safeguards from breaching laws relating to driving a motor vehicle while under the influence. Nothing in the law gives anybody the right to go behind the wheel of a car, plane, or watercraft while under the effects of smoking marijuana.
Regulations For Cannabis Testing In Missouri
Late in 2019, the legislature of the state of Missouri issued licenses to ten companies to do cannabis lab testing. Moreover, they have established the Facility Licensing and Compliance Unit to monitor the state’s medicinal marijuana testing policies.
Conclusion: Weed Legalization In Missouri
Where is weed legal?In simple words, the initiative will make it legal for anybody over 21 to buy, possess, consume, distribute, manufacture, and sell marijuana for personal use.
The petition lays forth a plan for issuing 144 more licenses for microbusiness facilities. This includes six dispensaries and twelve wholesale businesses in each state’s congressional district. The state will use a lottery system to determine who gets the new permits, and those who win them can produce and grow marijuana for sale.