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Long lines as Missouri medical marijuana dispensaries open

Missouri’s first licensed marijuana dispensaries opened this weekend in the St. Louis area with long lines

Marijuana use linked to increased risk of heart trouble

ST. LOUIS — Missouri’s first licensed marijuana dispensaries opened this weekend in the St. Louis area with long lines.

The two dispensaries run by N’Bliss opened Saturday in Ellisville and Manchester. Another dispensary is expected to open Monday in the Kansas City area nearly two years after Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow the sale of medical marijuana.

To buy the drug, people need approval from a doctor and a state medical marijuana card. Prices are expected to be high initially because the supply is limited in the state at this stage. N’Bliss was charging $125 for an eighth of an ounce of marijuana when it opened Saturday.

Kim Haller said she stood in line Saturday because she has long been frustrated with the high cost of medications and injections she uses to treat her multiple sclerosis. Recently, Haller said she had been buying marijuana from a licensed caregiver.

“It helps with my spasticity, which means my muscles don’t move like I like them to, and sleep,” Haller, 54, of St. Peters, said of the marijuana treatment.

In the Kansas City area, Brenda Dougherty said she hopes to be one of Fresh Green’s first customers when it opens this week in Lee’s Summit. The 57-year-old from Warrensburg said she believes marijuana will help relieve her chronic pain condition.

“I don’t want to take any more pills,” she said. “I know this will help. To be quite honest, I have tried it and, yes, it does help.”

The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services expects most of the state’s 192 approved dispensaries to be open by the end of the year.

“Missouri patients have always been our North Star as we work to implement the state’s medical marijuana program,” Dr. Randall Williams, department director, said in a news release. “We greatly appreciate how hard everyone has worked so that patients can begin accessing a safe and well-regulated program.”

Missouri’s first licensed marijuana dispensaries opened this weekend in the St. Louis area with long lines

Missouri marijuana laws

Is marijuana legal in Missouri?

Current legality status

Cannabis in Missouri is classified as a medical-use substance for adult consumption.

Medical cannabis is legal in Missouri, but recreational cannabis use is not.

In 2018, Missourians passed Amendment 2 for the medical use of marijuana in the state, and in late 2019 and early 2020, the state began awarding licenses to dispensaries, labs, cultivators, and producers. Sales to medical marijuana program participants slowly rolled out as dispensaries opened.

In 2014, state lawmakers in Missouri rewrote the criminal code to reduce marijuana possession penalties with Senate Bill 491. The changes took effect in 2017, and since then, possession of fewer than 10 grams of cannabis is only punishable by a fine.

Missouri medical marijuana laws

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services oversees the medical marijuana program for the state, including applications and licensing for businesses, patients, and caregivers.

It costs $25 for patients and caregivers to apply for medical marijuana and $100 for a patient cultivation license.

Missouri qualifying conditions for medical marijuana

Missourians with the following conditions qualify for medical marijuana in the state:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment
  • A chronic medical condition that causes severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome
  • Debilitating psychiatric disorders, including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress order if diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist
  • Human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication that could lead to physical or psychological dependence, when a physician determines that medical use of marijuana could be effective in treating that condition and would serve as a safer alternative to the prescription medication
  • A terminal illness
  • In the professional judgment of a physician, any other chronic, debilitating, or other medical condition, including, but not limited to, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, and wasting syndrome

How to get a medical marijuana card in Missouri

The process of obtaining a medical marijuana identification card in Missouri as outlined in 19 CSR 30-95.030 are as follows:

  • Applicants must visit a Missouri-licensed physician (an MD or DO) active and in good standing pursuant to Missouri law, and obtain a physician certification form (PCF).
  • The physician must submit the certification directly to the Department of Health and Senior Services.
  • Once an applicant receives a PCF, they must then register and apply for an identification card in the state’s online registry portal. The state will either approve or deny the application within 30 days of receipt.

Remember: Your PCF cannot be more than 30 days old at the time of application or renewal for your medical marijuana license.

Does Missouri accept out-of-state medical cards?

Missouri does not practice reciprocity with other states’ medical marijuana cards.

When does my Missouri medical marijuana card expire?

Missouri medical marijuana cards expire one year after date of issue.

Got your medical card? Find a dispensary in Missouri

Congratulations on getting your medical marijuana card! Here’s a list of licensed dispensaries in Missouri where you can obtain medical marijuana.

Missouri marijuana growing laws

You are not allowed to grow marijuana in Missouri unless you have a medical marijuana license as a patient cultivator.

Medical marijuana patients are allowed to grow up to six plants after paying an additional fee with their medical marijuana license to be a patient cultivator.

There are also rules about shared cultivation. This means that, in the state of Missouri, a maximum of two individuals may cultivate in the same space. This can include two patients, two caregivers, or any combination of the licensed two.

Missouri Constitution Article XIV does provide more leeway for the number of plants allowed in a shared cultivation place, stating:

“Normally, assuming two individuals are sharing the space, only 12 flowering marijuana plants may be cultivated in that space, as well as 12 nonflowering plants and 12 clones. However, if one of these two individuals is a caregiver and also a patient with a valid qualifying patient cultivation identification card, that individual may add 6 additional flowering plants, 6 nonflowering plants, and 6 clones to the shared space, so that the caregiver may cultivate plants for the patient under her care and for herself.”

This is the only circumstance under which plants for three patients may be grown in one shared space.

Missouri possession laws

Though possession of 10 grams of less has been decriminalized in the state, the sale and distribution of any amount of cannabis is a felony with a max $10,000 fine and penalty of up to four years of incarceration.

Missouri public consumption laws

As stated in 19 CSR 30-95.030, medical marijuana patients are prohibited from consuming their marijuana in a public place. Public places include many common areas open to the general public such as parks, sidewalks, schools, and businesses.

The rule also states that “for purposes of designating a non-public place within a public place, the owner or entity of any such property may, but is not required to, provide one or more enclosed, private spaces where one qualifying patient may consume medical marijuana.”

Missouri cannabis DUI laws

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services does not make any punishment exceptions for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Even if the person has a medical marijuana license, “The patient identification card does not offer individuals protections from violating laws pertaining to operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence. Nothing in Article XIV permits a person to operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any dangerous device or motor vehicle, aircraft or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana.”

Missouri cannabis testing regulations

In late 2019, the Missouri state legislature awarded 10 businesses with licenses as cannabis lab test facilities.

The state has created a Facility Licensing and Compliance Unit to oversee cannabis testing regulations for medical marijuana.

Common questions about marijuana legalization in Missouri

Can medical patients grow in Missouri?

Yes. Medical patients can cultivate up to six plants after paying a cultivation fee and making sure that security requirements are met.

Is Missouri a medical state?

Yes. Medical marijuana is legal for patients that meet the criteria of the Department of Health and Senior Services.

Can you get a medical card for anxiety in Missouri?

No. Anxiety is not recognized as a qualifying medical condition in Missouri.

Does the law require health insurers to cover medical cannabis?

Health insurers are not required by law to offer coverage for medical cannabis.

Can patients use medical cannabis anywhere in Missouri?

No. There are strict laws about where medical cannabis can be consumed in Missouri.

Can I get cannabis seeds in Missouri?

The DHSS does not provide any support or advice on the means to obtain seeds.

Learn more about marijuana legalization in Missouri

Some useful sources that provide further insights into marijuana legalization in Missouri include:

Good news! Marijuana for medical use is legal in Missouri. Learn more about Hawaii weed laws and regulations from the experts at Leafly.