I’m Aimee the Attorney, here again with answers to your legal questions. Recently, I interviewed Aubrey Gann-Redmon, an attorney who specializes in Missouri Amendment 2 issues. Aubrey explained the ins and outs of Missouri medical marijuana laws. Aubrey had some important information for potential users, growers, and dispensaries. Here’s a recap of our interview.
Medical Marijuana – An Overview
On November 6, 2018, Missourians voted for Missouri Amendment 2, legalizing medical cannabis in the state. Business and caregiver application opened up on June 4, 2019, while patient application started July 4, 2019. Currently, the regulations that are in effect are emergency regulations, so there will likely be many changes before the final regs are determined. However, you can now submit an application and be approved.
Missouri Amendment 2 – Common Questions
Because these provisions of Missouri Amendment 2 are so new, many people have questions about what’s going to happen and what will be possible now. The following are some of the most common things that people want to know.
Products Allowed Under the New Law
Many cannabis products are available in various parts of the country and the world. Some states strictly limit what kinds of products are legal. Missouri medical cannabis laws haven’t limited the types of products that are going to be available. Aubrey’s example was medical cannabis suppositories. These are very helpful, especially for people with severe pain. They act quickly and last a long time. However, some states with medical marijuana have prohibited these suppositories. But Missouri allows them. Missouri has not banned edibles, either.
Where Can You Smoke?
Smoking pot will now be legal for people who have a medical marijuana card. But where can they smoke? Aubrey said you won’t be allowed to smoke in public. She suggested that the best place would be in the privacy of your own home. Also, she said that if you were smoking in the same place with other people who didn’t have a Missouri cannabis card, they would likely assume you’re all using. Then, you might have some explaining to do if an enforcement official found you there together.
Another option might eventually be to smoke in a consumption lounge. This is a place where people with a card and their caregivers can go into a small private room and smoke.
Will There Be Pot Delivery?
Once you as a patient for Missouri medical weed, you’ll need to get the product. Transportation of some type will be essential. Transportation is especially important for people who have disabilities that limit their mobility.
As already mentioned, a caregiver can transport it for you. As for businesses, the regulations allow them to transport medical marijuana as a part of their license, whether that’s a cultivation license, and MIP license, or a dispensary license. One thing Aubrey mentioned about transportation is that Missouri medical cannabis must be paid for before it can be legally transported under Missouri Amendment 2.
Ability to Get Marijuana in Smaller Towns
Missouri Amendment 2 doesn’t allow any town or municipality in the state to prohibit a medical cannabis-based business. What they can do, though, is set reasonable regulations as to the time, place, and manner the business can be conducted. Aubrey mentioned Grandview, where regulations currently state that a cannabis business can’t operate within 1,000 feet of a church, secondary school, primary school, or daycare. Aubrey said that until they decrease that distance, it would be difficult to find a spot for a marijuana dispensary. Aubrey also said that small towns are likely to welcome marijuana businesses, because they can bring in revenue.
Getting a Medical Card in Missouri
Before we talk about how to get a medical marijuana card, it helps to know the terms used in Missouri medical weed laws. First, the three types of people affected are the patients, the caregivers, and the businesses that serve them. A patient is the person who has a medical condition that can be helped by using medical cannabis. They are the one who is allowed to use it. The caregiver is the person who helps the patient by purchasing, transporting, and administering the pot for them. The caregiver can also grow the weed. And, each of these three types of people must submit a Missouri medical marijuana application and be approved.
Now, to get a Missouri marijuana card to become a qualified patient, you have to go to the Missouri Health and Senior Services website and find the medical marijuana section. Then, you need to fill out an application under the “patients” button. To get the card, you have to meet several requirements. They are:
Medical Card in Missouri Requirements
- A doctor certification that’s less than 30 days old
- The $25 application fee, and an extra $100 if you plan to grow marijuana
- A copy of your driver’s license or state-issued ID
- A passport-type photo that’s less than 3 months old
- Be at least 18 years old or have a caregiver who is at least 18 years old
For the doctor certification, you need to see a doctor about a medical condition you’re having. They then need to certify that you’re eligible to get medical marijuana. Aubrey said that at first it may be hard to find doctors who will provide this certification, possibly due to the increased insurance rates they may have to pay or because they aren’t familiar enough with its benefits.
Aubrey suggested the green clinics, where you can see a medical cannabis doctor who is well-versed in medical marijuana treatment. In that case, you typically would bring your medical records showing your condition. If your situation warrants a card, they will give you certification in one of 10 different categories, such as for multiple sclerosis or for migraines.
Missouri Drug Possession Laws and Amendment 2
So, what is happening with law enforcement of marijuana possession? Prosecutors around the state are already deciding not to enforce drug possession laws for marijuana. Specifically, in Kansas City and St. Louis, as a matter of policy, they aren’t going to arrest you as long as you have less than 100 grams.
Aubrey told the story of an amputee who was at the airport waiting for his ride to leave. The canine unit found that he had cannabis vape pens with him. He was worried that he would be in serious legal trouble. Aubrey told him that, since the Kansas City police have jurisdiction at the airport, he would probably only receive a citation. As it turned out, nothing came of the incident.
The Cost of Opening a Dispensary
When I asked Aubrey what other questions people often ask, she mentioned the cost of opening a dispensary. She said that it’s going to take about a half million dollars to open one. And, the dispensary has to be at least 51% Missouri owned, according to Missouri Amendment 2 regulations. That means there may be limitations on who can invest in your business.
It was interesting to talk to Aubrey about this exciting subject. Missouri Amendment 2 has made it legal for people to use medical marijuana to treat a variety of conditions. I’m hoping that this law paves the way to decriminalize marijuana and eliminate the race and class issues surrounding it.