Well, there is some good news and bad news for thousands of state residents wondering how to get medical marijuana in Missouri. In case you haven’t heard, over 65% of Missourians voted in favor of Amendment 2 back on November 6, which essentially legalizes the medical use of cannabis for qualified residents in the state. However, it will likely be quite some time before dispensary licenses are granted, and even longer before qualified patients are actually able to buy legal cannabis in the state.
In fact, according to the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services, simply implementing the “applicable rules and regulations” regarding medical marijuana in Missouri will not even be completed until June 2019.
In other words, while cannabis is now legal medically in Missouri, it will likely be 2020 at the earliest before qualified patients are able to walk into a dispensary and walk out with their product.
There were actually three independent cannabis-related propositions on the state’s November 6 ballot, but Amendment 2 was the only one that passed – good news for patients as it was the only proposal that allowed for legal home cultivation.
In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about how to get medical marijuana in Missouri — that is, when the program becomes operational.
Medical Marijuana in Missouri: Understanding the Basics
In situations like these where marijuana has only very recently been legalized in a state, it’s best to use an FAQ-style outline to try and answer the inevitable repeating questions that thousands of state residents will be having.
So without further ado, here is everything that you need to know about the newly-passed law that allows for medical marijuana in Missouri:
WHEN WILL MEDICAL MARIJUANA BE LEGAL IN MISSOURI?
“Legally,” medical marijuana in Missouri will become legal on December 6, 2018. However this is a moot point because the program will not become operational until late 2019, at the very earliest (see below for more info on dates).
WHO WILL BE ABLE TO GET MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN MISSOURI?
Only patients who have received a recommendation from a licensed and practicing physician in the state will be able to obtain medical marijuana in Missouri. In order to be approved, patients must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition (see below).
WHAT MEDICAL CONDITIONS WILL QUALIFY?
As of now (November 2018), the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Missouri include:
- Intractable migraines
- Severe or persistent pain/muscle spasms (including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome)
- Psychiatric disorders (including but not limited to PTSD)
- 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
- Any terminal illness
- Any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition in which medical marijuana can be an appropriate treatment (as deemed by the professional judgment of a physician)
HOW DO I APPLY FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN MISSOURI IF I HAVE ONE OF THE ABOVE QUALIFYING CONDITIONS?
To be clear, applications will not open until July 4, 2019 at the earliest. Here are the steps you can take to apply, one the applications become available:
- Visit a state-licensed physician to obtain a physician certification for medical marijuana use
- Apply for your ID card through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (starting July 4, 2019)
- If your application is approved (you will be either approved or denied within 30 days of submitting your application), you will receive your MMJ ID card, at which point you can purchase medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
It appears that the application fee will be $25 (NOT including doctor consultation visits, etc)
WILL I BE ABLE TO GROW MY OWN MARIJUANA?
Yes, home cultivation will be allowed but you will have to submit a separate application and a separate application fee (the form will become available August 3, 2019)
IS IT LEGAL TO POSSESS MARIJUANA IN MISSOURI NOW?
No, it is not currently legal to possess marijuana in Missouri (though some counties have decriminalized small amounts of possession)
WHERE WILL I HAVE TO GO TO BUY MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN MISSOURI?
Medical marijuana will only be available for purchase in state-licensed dispensaries
DO I HAVE TO GET MY MISSOURI MEDICAL CANNABIS CARD FROM A STATE-LICENSED PHYSICIAN?
Yes. Recommendations from other other healthcare providers (i.e. nurse practitioners, physician assistants) will NOT be accepted.
HOW CAN I GET A PERMIT TO OPEN A MARIJUANA DISPENSARY OR GROW FACILITY IN MISSOURI?
Applications to open a dispensary and/or grow facility will become available starting August 3, 2019. Fees are as follows:
- Cultivation Facilities will require a $10,000 non-refundable application fee and a $25,000 annual fee.
- Dispensary Facilities require a $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10,000 annual fee.
- Medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities require a $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10,000 annual fee.
CAN I HAVE A PRIMARY CAREGIVER PURCHASE AND DELIVER MY CANNABIS FOR ME?
Yes, primary caregivers will be allowed to purchase/possess medical marijuana for qualified Missouri patients as long as they are at least 21 years old and designated on the primary caregiver’s application (or in another form of written notification to the Department)
Wondering How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri? It’ll be Awhile…
As we said, even though legislation has passed to make medical marijuana in Missouri legal, it will be quite some time before you’re able to:
- Apply for a medical marijuana card in Missouri
- Get your MMJ identification card
- Grow your own medical cannabis
- Purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary
How long is a long time, you may be wondering? Well for reference, the applications for dispensaries won’t even become available until August 2019. By our estimations, it will be early 2020 at the earliest before qualified patients are actually able to walk into a dispensary and buy medical marijuana in Missouri.
[Have any additional questions about medical marijuana in Missouri? Feel free to reach out to state officials at MedicalMarijuanaInfo@health.mo.gov]