Missouri passed Amendment 2 on November 6, 2018, legalizing medical marijuana and charging the Department of Health and Senior Services with creating a regulatory framework to provide patient access. The Missouri medical marijuana program allows patients with qualifying medical conditions to apply for an ID card to purchase medical marijuana. As of February 2020, the DHSS has issued cards to more than 30,000 patients, 840 caregivers, and nearly 10,000 cultivators.
Missouri qualifying conditions
The DHSS website maintains an updated list of qualifying conditions. Here are the most common that are eligible for medical cannabis use:
- Intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment.
- A chronic medical condition that causes severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson's disease, and Tourette's syndrome.
- Debilitating psychiatric disorders, including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress order if diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist.
- Human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).
- A terminal illness.
Applying for a medical marijuana ID in Missouri
Patients must first visit a licensed physician or osteopath and obtain a physician certification. This document certifies that the patient has a qualifying medical condition for which cannabis could provide potential relief.
The physician certification form also indicates the amount of cannabis per month a patient requires, either the standard 4 ounces or more if needed (this requires completion of a separate form). Patients younger than 18 years of age require the written consent of their parent or guardian to qualify.
Patients must then apply for an identification card via the DHSS' secure online registry. The patients must submit the following for consideration:
- A completed application.
- Proof of Missouri residency.
- A completed and signed physician's recommendation, received no more than 30 days prior.
- A clear, color photo of the patient's face taken within the last three months.
- A $25 application fee.
- For minors, proof of parental/legal guardian consent.
- An indication that the patient is seeking authority to cultivate medical marijuana, if applicable (plus an additional $100 fee).
- If the patient wishes to designate a caregiver, a patient authorization form that names the designated individual. If two caregivers are designated, the patient must submit a form for each person.
The DHSS will approve or deny an application within 30 days of receipt. Patients can then visit the DHSS website to download a copy of their medical marijuana ID card. The DHSS will not provide physical cards for patients and caregivers.
Medical marijuana ID cards expire precisely one year after their issuance date.
Appointing a caregiver
A caregiver is an individual appointed to assist a qualified patient in his or her use of medical cannabis. Caregivers must be:
- Over twenty-one (21) years of age.
- Able to be responsible for the well-being of a patient.
- Designated on the patient's primary caregiver application for an identification card or in other written notification to the DHSS.
Caregivers must complete an application through the DHSS website, including the following:
- Complete identification information.
- Patient information.
- A clear, color photo of the caregiver's face taken within the last three months.
- A $25 application fee.
- Indication as to whether the caregiver wishes to cultivate medical marijuana on behalf of their patient (plus an additional $100 if they do).
Per Missouri law, a medical marijuana caregiver cannot serve more than three patients. Caregivers can cultivate cannabis on behalf of their patient(s), but may not do so if the patient has a cultivator license.
Purchasing medical marijuana in Missouri
In January 2020, the DHSS granted 192 awardees licenses to open and operate medical marijuana dispensaries. Neither the Department or any licensee has announced an opening date, but online sources expect medical marijuana dispensaries to begin operations mid-year 2020. Keep an eye on the DHSS website for the latest news and updates.
Missouri medical marijuana patients may purchase up to 4 ounces of cannabis flower or its equivalent in processed cannabis every 30 days. To receive more, the patient must provide two independent physician certifications explaining the need and amount for the larger monthly dose.
Frequently asked questions
Can I home-cultivate medical marijuana in Missouri?
Patients are allowed to grow six flowering (female) plants in their home, in addition to six non-flowering (male) plants, and six clones (plants cut from plant clippings). Patients can apply for cultivator cards when they submit their patient applications or at a later date. These cards are separate from patient ID cards and cost an additional $100.
Caregivers can cultivate cannabis on behalf of their patients if the patient does not have a cultivator card. Cannabis plants must remain out of sight and in a secure room where children cannot access them.
Will my medical information stay private?
Yes, the law prohibits the DHSS and any Missouri licensed dispensary from making personal identification information publicly available. Physicians and dispensary employees will be able to verify a patient's or caregiver's registration.
Does insurance cover my medical marijuana?
No, insurance companies typically do not cover medical marijuana or related expenses.
Does Missouri accept medical marijuana cards from other states?
No. At this time, to access medical cannabis in Missouri, you must be a patient in the Missouri medical marijuana program. Out-of-state patients are allowed to possess marijuana if they have a medical marijuana ID card or its equivalent from their state.
Are minors allowed to become cannabis patients in Missouri?
Yes, minors may become cannabis patients in Missouri, provided they have the written consent of their parent/guardian. Minors may not obtain a cultivation ID card.
Where can I purchase medical marijuana in Missouri?
Medical marijuana will be available from retail dispensaries licensed by DHSS. Once the DHSS has completed its dispensary licensing process, dispensary locations will be made available through this site.
When will I receive my Missouri medical marijuana card?
Patients should receive approval for their Missouri marijuana card within 30 days of application and can download their ID card directly from the DHSS website.
Can I get my medical marijuana card through telemedicine?
If a patient does not need an in-person appointment, a physician can conduct an exam via telemedicine to determine whether the patient qualifies for medical marijuana use. However, physicians should note that the certification requires a handwritten signature. Telemedicine physicians must comply with existing telemedicine regulations in Missouri.
How does Missouri law protect medical marijuana patients?
Medical marijuana patients enjoy legal protections for possession and consumption of medical marijuana if they carry a valid patient or caregiver identification card.
How long is my medical marijuana ID card valid?
A patient or caregiver registration is valid for one year following issuance.