Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
Published: December 6. 2019.
Updated: December 6. 2019.
In-Depth Guide to Missouri Marijuana Laws
Although marijuana, often referred to as cannabis, remains illegal in the majority of US states and at the federal level, recent laws have allowed both medical and recreational marijuana users to possess the drug without significant legal consequences. But the drug still remains a misdemeanor for non-medical use. Read on for an in-depth guide to marijuana laws from the trusted attorneys at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center.
MO Laws Surrounding Marijuana in 2017
Missouri laws have undergone significant changes in the last few years. In 2014, Governor Jay Nixon signed the Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill into law, allowing those with persistent seizures to use CBD oil for treatment. The signing of this law set into motion what would be a series of groundbreaking marijuana laws.
On January 1, 2017, SB 491 was enacted, decriminalizing marijuana statewide. This reduced penalties for those in possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana. Under this law, a first offense carries the punishment of a class D Missouri misdemeanor, which can result in a fine ranging from $250-$1,000 with no risk of jail time.
In April 2017, residents of Kansas City voted to reduce the penalties for simple marijuana possession. Under previous local laws, marijuana possession of up to 35 grams for adults age 21 and older was classified as a criminal misdemeanor, but the new law bumped it down to a civil offense carrying the punishment of a $25 fine.
Keep reading for more information, including details on the recent legalization of Missouri medical marijuana.
Medical Marijuana Missouri
As mentioned above, medical marijuana is currently legal in Missouri for qualifying patients. To qualify for a medical marijuana card in Missouri, a patient must have one of the following qualifying conditions:
- Chronic severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms
- Debilitating psychiatric disorders
- HIV or AIDS
- Chronic medical conditions otherwise treated by prescription medications that may be habit-forming
- Any terminal illness
- Other chronic, debilitating or other medical conditions at a physician’s discretion
A patient must also be over the age of 18 to qualify. Those under 18 must have a primary caregiver over the age of 21 who is registered with the Department of Health. Caregivers cannot serve more than three medical marijuana patients, and all applicants must be state residents.
How to Get a Medical Identification Card in Missouri
The attorneys at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center suggest that a patient who meets the above requirements will most likely be approved for a medical marijuana identification card in Missouri. Applicants must have a physician certification that is no older than 30 days to apply. An ID card costs $25 and is valid for 1 year. The physician certification must be renewed annually.
The registration website is available on medicalmarijuana.mo.gov. Only applications submitted through the online registry will be accepted. After applying, patients can expect an electronic notification about their application’s status within 48 hours. Patients who are granted a medical card will not receive a physical card – instead, patients will be able to log into their online registry account to download a copy of their card and print it out.
Dispensary License Missouri
In August 2019, Missouri began processing its first dispensary license applications. State-licensed businesses will be permitted to grow, process, and dispense medical marijuana to a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility, a Medical Marijuana Testing Facility, or to a Medical Marijuana-Infused Products Manufacturing Facility. Indoor Cultivation Facilities will be limited to 30,000 square feet of canopy space, while Outdoor Cultivation Facilities will be limited to 2,800 flowering plants.
Laws Surrounding Marijuana (Cannabis) in Missouri
In November of 2018, Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana throughout the state. The law is starting to fully go into play as the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has begun issuing licenses to qualified patients and facilities.
Missouri Marijuana News
Although Amendment 2 was passed in November of 2018, people seeking a license had to wait for the state to catch up. The Department of Health began accepting applications from qualifying patients on July 4, 2019.
Business applications were accepted during a brief application period from August 3, 2019, until August 19, 2019. Over 2,000 business applications were submitted, and just 348 will be awarded licenses. Following the text of Amendment 2, Missouri must award marijuana facility licenses by December 31, 2019.
By the summer of 2020, Missouri residents who are interested in purchasing medical marijuana will be able to easily obtain it by simply walking into a state-licensed dispensary with their medical marijuana card.
If you have any questions about how the marijuana (cannabis) laws will affect your life, don’t hesitate to contact a dedicated Missouri criminal defense lawyer who is well-versed in Missouri drug laws.
As the laws surrounding marijuana in Missouri are continually changing, it’s natural to have questions and concerns. The attorneys at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center have the background and expertise to handle any marijuana-related case that comes our way. From consultation to representation, we have your back through every step of the process.