Missouri, like many states in the US, has taken steps towards legalizing marijuana use in recent years. However, the laws and regulations surrounding marijuana use in Missouri can be confusing and difficult to navigate. In this article, we will explore the current status of marijuana legalization in Missouri, including both medical and recreational use, as well as possession, cultivation, and dispensary laws.
If you’re wondering “Is marijuana legal in Missouri?” then read on for a comprehensive overview of the state’s marijuana laws and regulations.
Understanding Missouri’s Marijuana Laws
With the recent wave of marijuana legalization sweeping across the United States, many people are curious about the laws and regulations surrounding the use of marijuana in their state. In Missouri, marijuana laws have undergone significant changes in recent years. Here’s what you need to know:
Legalization of Medical Marijuana
In 2018, Missouri voters approved a ballot initiative that legalized medical marijuana in the state. Since then, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has been responsible for implementing the program, which allows patients with qualifying conditions to obtain medical marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries.
Under Missouri law, patients must have a written certification from a physician indicating their need for medical marijuana. Qualifying conditions include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, intractable migraines, neuropathies, PTSD, and terminal illnesses. Patients are allowed to purchase up to four ounces of dried medical marijuana or equivalent amounts of other forms, such as edibles and concentrates, per month.
While medical marijuana has been legalized in Missouri, possession of marijuana for recreational purposes is still illegal. Possession of up to ten grams of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $500. Possession of more than ten grams is a felony offense with penalties of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Missouri law permits the cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes only. Patients who have been approved for medical marijuana use are allowed to grow up to six plants at home, provided they are kept in a locked, enclosed space that is not visible to the public. Cultivation of marijuana for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited.
The state has also established a licensing program for businesses that wish to cultivate and sell medical marijuana. The program is highly competitive, with licenses being awarded based on merit and suitability criteria. In total, the state has approved approximately 200 medical marijuana dispensary licenses and 60 cultivation licenses.
It’s important to note that federal law still prohibits the possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana, regardless of state laws. While the current presidential administration has indicated a willingness to consider some form of federal legalization, it remains to be seen what, if any, changes will be made at the national level.
Possession Laws in Missouri
Missouri made history in 2018 when it became the 32nd state to legalize medical marijuana. However, the possession of marijuana for recreational use is still illegal, punishable by hefty fines and even imprisonment depending on the amount.
As per Missouri’s possession laws, medical marijuana cardholders are allowed to possess up to 4 ounces of marijuana or the equivalent in other forms, such as edibles or concentrates. Non-cardholders caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana could face a maximum fine of $500, while possession of more than 35 grams, which is a felony, can carry a jail sentence of up to seven years and a fine of up to $10,000.
It’s essential to note that Missouri has strict laws when it comes to minors and marijuana possession. Possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana for first-time offenders under the age of 18 is not a criminal offense but instead results in an evaluation and a drug education program. However, minors caught with more than 10 grams face the same penalties as adults.
The Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Missouri
Missouri voters approved a ballot measure in 2018, known as Amendment 2, which allows patients with certain qualifying conditions to purchase and use medical marijuana products from state-licensed dispensaries. The state began accepting applications for medical marijuana licenses in June 2019 and the first dispensaries opened in October 2020. The possession limits for medical marijuana in Missouri are more generous than those for recreational use, reflecting its use for therapeutic purposes.
|Possession Limits for Medical Marijuana in Missouri||Type of Marijuana Product||Maximum Possession Amount|
|Dried Flower or Uncured Marijuana||Up to 4 ounces|
|Concentrates, including edibles and tinctures||Up to 3.5 grams or the equivalent of 30 grams of dried flower|
In addition to possession limits, medical marijuana patients in Missouri must adhere to strict cultivation regulations. Home cultivation is allowed, but patients are limited to six flowering plants and six non-flowering plants at a time. Patients can have more if their qualifying medical condition warrants it, but they must receive approval from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
It’s crucial to note that Missouri is a bit stricter about medical marijuana possession than other states. For instance, patients are not allowed to smoke marijuana or grow their own plants unless they have received approval from the Department of Health and Senior Services. Patients can only purchase medical marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries and must possess a valid medical marijuana card.
Cultivation Laws in Missouri
In Missouri, the cultivation of marijuana is tightly regulated and restricted to a limited number of individuals and entities.
For personal use, Missouri residents may grow up to six plants per adult and up to a maximum of twelve plants per household. However, the plants must be grown in a secure, locked area that is inaccessible to minors and anyone not authorized to use or possess marijuana. Additionally, the plants must not be visible from any public place.
Commercial cultivation of marijuana is also legal in Missouri, but only licensed entities are allowed to do so. The state has issued a limited number of licenses to businesses to grow and supply marijuana to dispensaries.
|Allowed for Personal Use||Allowed for Commercial Use|
|Up to six plants per adult||Licensed businesses only|
|Up to twelve plants per household||Limited number of licenses issued|
|Plants must be grown in a secure, locked area|
|Plants must not be visible from any public place|
It is important to note that any cultivation of marijuana without a valid license or in excess of the allowed amount is considered a criminal offense and punishable by law.
Penalties for Illegal Cultivation
The penalties for illegal cultivation of marijuana in Missouri can vary depending on the amount of plants involved and whether or not the cultivation was for personal use or commercial purposes.
For personal use, the cultivation of more than the allowed number of plants can result in criminal charges, fines, and potential jail time. Commercial cultivation without a valid license can also result in criminal charges and fines, as well as the loss of the business’s license.
It is important to understand and adhere to Missouri’s cultivation laws to avoid any legal repercussions and ensure a safe and legal use of marijuana.
Dispensary Laws in Missouri
As of October 2021, there are over 100 approved medical marijuana dispensaries in Missouri. These dispensaries are licensed by the state and are authorized to sell marijuana products to qualified patients with a medical marijuana card.
However, it is important to note that the sale and use of recreational marijuana is still illegal in Missouri. Any dispensaries found to be selling marijuana to individuals without a medical card can face legal consequences.
Patients with a medical marijuana card can purchase a variety of products at dispensaries, including dried flower, edibles, tinctures, and concentrates. It is important to note that all products sold at dispensaries are required to be tested for potency and purity, ensuring that patients receive safe and reliable products.
Dispensaries are also required to follow strict regulations regarding their operations and security measures. These regulations include specific requirements for ventilation systems, cameras, and other security measures to prevent theft or other criminal activity.
Possession and Cultivation Penalties in Missouri
In Missouri, the penalties for violating marijuana possession and cultivation laws can be severe. The severity of the punishment usually depends on the amount of marijuana in possession or being cultivated.
|Less than 10 grams possession||A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and up to one year in jail.|
|10-35 grams possession or 20 grams of marijuana extract||A felony with a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and up to seven years in jail.|
|More than 35 grams possession, more than 20 grams of marijuana extract, or any cultivation||A felony with a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in jail.|
It’s worth noting that the penalties can be more severe for repeat offenders and for those caught trafficking or distributing marijuana.
Additionally, medical marijuana patients who violate possession or cultivation limits may face revocation of their medical marijuana card and loss of access to legal cannabis products.
Recreational Marijuana Laws in Missouri
As of the time of writing, recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Missouri. Possession of any amount of marijuana for non-medical use is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail.
However, there have been recent efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri. In 2020, several groups filed petitions to add a recreational marijuana initiative to the ballot, but none of these efforts were successful. Furthermore, lawmakers have introduced bills to legalize recreational marijuana, but these bills have yet to pass in the Missouri Legislature.
It remains to be seen if and when recreational marijuana use will be legalized in Missouri, but for now, it is important to abide by the current laws and regulations regarding marijuana possession and use.
Medical Marijuana Laws in Missouri
Missouri legalized medical marijuana on November 6, 2018, with Amendment 2 passing with 66% of the vote. The program became operational on June 4, 2019, and has since provided relief to thousands of patients across the state.
To qualify for medical marijuana in Missouri, patients must have a qualifying medical condition, including but not limited to:
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Chronic pain
Patients must also have a physician certification form completed by a licensed physician in Missouri. The certification must confirm the diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition and indicate that medical marijuana may be used as part of the patient’s medical treatment.
Patients must apply for a Medical Marijuana Identification Card through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The application fee is $25, and the patient must provide proof of residency in Missouri.
Once approved, patients are allowed to purchase up to four ounces of medical marijuana or its equivalent per month. The patient can purchase medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary in Missouri.
Missouri has taken the necessary steps to legalize medical marijuana, and the program has been successful in providing relief to those who need it. With proper certification and application, patients can receive the benefits of medical marijuana without fear of breaking the law.
The History of Marijuana Legalization in Missouri
Marijuana laws in Missouri have gone through significant changes over the years, with both medical and recreational use facing various degrees of legal restriction at different times. Here is a brief history of marijuana legalization in Missouri:
- In 1933, Missouri enacted its first marijuana regulation, which made the possession, sale, or transportation of marijuana punishable by a maximum of two years in jail and/or up to $500 in fines.
- In 1979, Missouri became one of the first states to decriminalize marijuana possession of small amounts by reducing penalties to a maximum $250 fine, no incarceration for possession of ten grams or less.
- In 2014, the state implemented a new law, known as the Missouri Medical Marijuana Amendment, which allowed for the use of CBD oil by patients with epilepsy. However, the law was limited in scope and did not legalize medical marijuana for other conditions.
- In 2018, Missouri voters approved Amendment 2, which legalized medical marijuana for patients with qualifying medical conditions and established a system of licensed dispensaries and cultivators.
- In 2019, Missouri passed a law that reduced penalties for possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana to a Class D Misdemeanor, which means no chance of jail time and a maximum fine of $500.
- In 2020, Missouri’s medical marijuana program officially launched, allowing qualifying patients to access medical marijuana products from licensed dispensaries.
- As of 2021, recreational marijuana use in Missouri remains illegal, with possession of over 35 grams being punishable by a maximum of seven years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
While there have been some significant changes in Missouri’s marijuana laws in recent years, there is still a long way to go towards full legalization and regulation of the cannabis industry in the state.
Federal Marijuana Laws and Missouri
While marijuana use has been legalized in some form in Missouri, it is important to note that marijuana is still illegal under federal law. This can lead to confusion and uncertainty for those using or considering using marijuana, as well as for businesses and individuals involved in the marijuana industry.
Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, which means it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use. This classification has been the subject of debate and criticism, with many arguing that it does not accurately reflect the realities of marijuana use and the potential benefits of medical marijuana.
Despite the federal prohibition on marijuana, many states, including Missouri, have chosen to legalize its use in some form. While there is currently no indication that the federal government plans to crack down on states that have legalized marijuana, it is important to understand the potential risks and uncertainties involved.
Individuals involved in the marijuana industry, including those operating dispensaries or cultivation facilities, may face legal and financial risks due to the federal prohibition on marijuana. It is recommended that those involved in the industry consult with legal and financial experts to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Where to Get Help for Marijuana Use in Missouri
If you or someone you know is struggling with marijuana addiction or abuse, there are resources available in Missouri to provide support and guidance. Here are some places to turn:
- Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri: This organization provides education, advocacy, and support for individuals and families affected by mental illness and addiction. They offer a variety of programs and services to connect people with the resources they need to achieve recovery.
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse: This organization is dedicated to combating the effects of alcoholism and drug addiction in the St. Louis area. They offer a range of services, including counseling, education, and prevention programs.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: This national organization provides free information and resources for individuals struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Their website offers a variety of resources, including a treatment locator to help people find treatment centers in their area.
It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease, and seeking help is a brave and important step towards recovery. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support, and remember, you’re not alone.
Frequently Asked Questions about Marijuana in Missouri
As marijuana laws and regulations continue to evolve in Missouri, it’s important to understand the rules and limitations surrounding the use and possession of marijuana. Here are some common questions about marijuana use in Missouri:
Can I legally possess marijuana in Missouri?
Yes, but only if you have a medical marijuana card. Recreational marijuana use is still illegal in Missouri.
How do I apply for a medical marijuana card?
You must first be evaluated by a state-approved physician and be diagnosed with one of the qualifying medical conditions. Then, you can apply for a medical marijuana card through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
What are the possession limits for medical marijuana users?
Medical marijuana users can possess up to four ounces of marijuana or its equivalent in other forms, such as edibles or concentrates.
Can I grow my own marijuana in Missouri?
Yes, but the number of plants you’re allowed to grow depends on whether you have a medical marijuana card. Medical marijuana users can grow up to six plants, while recreational users are limited to three plants.
Can I buy marijuana at a dispensary in Missouri?
Yes, but only if you have a medical marijuana card. Missouri law allows for the operation of dispensaries, but only for medical marijuana patients with valid cards.
What are the penalties for violating marijuana laws in Missouri?
The penalties vary depending on the offense, but can include fines, jail time, and even felony charges for certain violations.
What is the status of recreational marijuana legalization in Missouri?
Recreational marijuana is currently illegal in Missouri, but some lawmakers and advocates are pushing for legalization in the future.
Where can I get help for marijuana addiction or abuse in Missouri?
There are many resources available for individuals struggling with marijuana addiction or abuse, including support groups, treatment centers, and medical professionals. The Missouri Department of Mental Health also provides a range of services for individuals dealing with substance abuse issues.