Missouri Marijuana Laws
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.
Missouri Marijuana Legalization: Legal for Medical Use
Although recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Missouri, the drug is now completely legal for medical use. In November 2018, Missouri voters passed Amendment 2, legalizing medical marijuana statewide.
Legalize Weed in Missouri
Under this new law, qualified patients with a “chronic, debilitating or other medical condition” as determined by a physician, along with any terminal illness, are allowed to possess marijuana in Missouri. Patients can grow up to six cannabis plants as well as purchase an amount of marijuana each month to be determined by state regulators.
Further in this article, we’ll discuss more of the specifics regarding how to legally obtain medical marijuana in Missouri.
Marijuana Legalization Missouri: Illegal for Recreational Use
Although medical marijuana remains legal in Missouri, keep in mind that recreational use is still illegal. Though decriminalized, possession of the drug can carry a rather significant fine. Since it is a misdemeanor, the offense will stay on your criminal record for life unless you seek expungement. This can impact your ability to get a job, apply for a lease, or attend an educational institution.
If you’ve been charged with marijuana possession in Missouri, you have options. While it’s easy to brush off a misdemeanor as no big deal, being convicted of a drug crime can have a major impact on your life. Whether you’ve recently been charged with possession and seek quality representation or you have been previously convicted and wish to clear your criminal record, the criminal defense attorneys at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center can help.
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.
How to Legally Obtain Marijuana Missouri
Once a patient has a qualifying medical marijuana identification card, they will be legally able to enter licensed dispensaries in the state of Missouri and consume and possess certain amounts of medical marijuana.
However, you should still be aware of certain laws and regulations, even if you have a medical marijuana card. When purchasing, using, or possessing medical marijuana, patients and caregivers must have their medical marijuana card available. Additionally, since the laws changed so recently, there are not yet many Missouri dispensaries open.
Under Missouri law, a dispensary cannot sell more than 4 ounces of dried, unprocessed cannabis or equivalent to a qualifying patient within 30 days.
In most cases, it is legal for all medical marijuana patients and caregivers to possess the following:
- Up to six flowering plants
- Up to a 90-day supply of dried, unprocessed marijuana or equivalent if cultivating plants on their property
- Up to a 60-day supply of dried, unprocessed marijuana or equivalent if not cultivating plants
If you’re unsure about the rules around legally obtaining marijuana, don’t hesitate to contact a local attorney like those at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center. An attorney can walk you through the registration process to ensure that you lawfully get the medical care that you need.
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.
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