Is Weed Legal in Missouri?
Recreational marijuana is illegal — but decriminalized — while medical marijuana is legal for qualifying patients.
Missouri weed laws underwent significant changes on Nov. 6, 2018, when voters approved Amendment 2, a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana use as recommended by state-licensed physicians and create regulations for licensing and certification. Amendment 2, the Medical Marijuana and Veteran Health-care Service Initiative, went into effect Dec. 6, 2018, and final rules for the administration of the program were released in late May 2019. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), which administers medical marijuana regulations, processes applications for patients and caregivers online. The state’s 4% tax on retail marijuana sales is dedicated to the Missouri Veteran’s Health and Care Fund.
The Missouri Legislature in 2014 passed HB 2238, which created the Missouri Hemp Extract Registration Program (MHERP). It allowed Missouri residents diagnosed with intractable epilepsy a registration card that allowed legal possession, purchase, and use of hemp extract with: no more than 0.3% THC by weight, included at least 5% cannabidiol (CBD) by weight, and contained no intoxicating substances.
Also in 2014, SB 491 made the first-time offense of possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana a misdemeanor punishable by a fine. Possession of greater quantities are considered felonies.
How Many Cultivation Licenses are There in Missouri?
Missouri weed laws for medical cannabis allows the Missouri Department of Agriculture (DOA) to issue a limited number of cultivation licenses. Once approved and granted a license, businesses are allowed to grow and process cannabis for use in the state’s medical marijuana program. In 2015, the Missouri Department of Agriculture (DOA) awarded two cultivation licenses, and in 2016, the centers began serving patients.
Missouri began accepting licensed dispensary facility applications starting Aug. 3, 2019. Cannabis can legally be obtained and possessed only by a patient or licensed caregiver and consumed solely by the patient, unless a primary caregiver is also a patient.
Under current Missouri medical laws, patients ages 18 and older and minors younger than 18 with the consent of a parent or guardian, can apply for a registration card with their physician’s certification. The amendment legalizing medical use went into effect in December 2018, and applications for medical use and caregiver identification cards are available through the DHSS website. Cards cost $25. Purchases are restricted to state-licensed dispensaries, and patients must have valid identification and be registered with the state.
Recreational use and possession of marijuana remain illegal.
Delivery is allowable under Missouri weed laws, and is considered in Amendment 2 as a component of the broad term “medical use.” The general provisions of the full rules include that delivery will be defined as “for the benefit of a qualifying patient to mitigate the symptoms or effects of the patient’s qualifying medical condition.”
It is illegal to consume cannabis in a public space that is open to the general public, including sidewalks, streets, parks, schools and businesses, unless legally enacted elsewhere. Missouri, unlike other states, has a specific provision for property owners to dedicate space for qualifying patients, who may be accompanied by family, a caregiver, or a physician to consume. Property owners also may limit use of medical marijuana to non-smokable forms of consumption.
Missouri medical marijuana laws, as structured in Amendment 2, provide that the limit will not be less than a 60-day supply of dried, unprocessed marijuana or its equivalent. Patients who cultivate may possess up to a 90-day supply of marijuana as long as they comply with storage regulations, including that the plant remaining on property under the patient’s control. Caregivers will be allotted at least the same amount for each patient they care for, up to three patients, as well as an allotment for themselves if they are also a patient.
The qualifying patient’s physician may certify up to 4 ounces, or 113 grams, of dried, unprocessed marijuana or its equivalent in a 30-day period, which falls within the possession limits. For possession limits, 1 ounce, or 28.35 grams, of dried, unprocessed marijuana is equivalent to 8 grams of medical marijuana concentrate or 800 milligrams of THC in infused products.
If a patient possesses an amount of marijuana between the possessor’s legal limit and twice the legal limit, the patient may be fined $200 and have their medical identification card revoked.
All medical marijuana purchased from a dispensary must be in its original packaging.
Missouri weed laws allow qualifying patients with identification and a secure facility to cultivate their own supplies. Patients will need to provide the grow location’s address, their patient license number, a statement to allow the DHSS to inspect the grow, a signature, and payment of fees. Failing to provide access results in immediate revocation of the license.
All cultivation must take place in an enclosed, locked facility. One patient may have up to six flowering plants, six nonflowering plants taller than 14 inches, or 35.5 centimeters; and six clones shorter than 14 inches, or 35.5 centimeters. Two patients may share one enclosed, locked facility. No more than 12 plants may be cultivated in a single space, unless the caregiver is cultivating on behalf of a third patient, in which case they may cultivate a total of 18 plants. The plants must be labeled with the patient’s name, and the cultivation authorization issued by the department must be displayed near the plants.
Medical Marijuana Registry
Qualifying conditions include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intractable migraines
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other debilitating psychiatric disorders
- Sickle cell disease
- Terminal illness
- Any chronic condition treated with a medication that could lead to dependence
- Chronic conditions causing severe, persistent pain, or muscle spasms including:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
Missouri requires the following for patients to be eligible for medical marijuana:
- A physician’s diagnosis and certification that a patient has a qualifying condition
- Completion of a patient application
- Payment of fees
- Receipt for an identification card, or temporary card while the permanent card is being mailed
Missouri requires caregivers to be at least 21 years old and have have significant responsibility for the well-being of a qualifying patient. A caregiver may administer medical marijuana to as many as three patients. A patient may A single patient can appoint up to two caregivers.
A physician means an individual who is licensed and in good standing to practice medicine or osteopathy under Missouri law. A license is in good standing if it is registered with the Missouri Board of Healing Arts as current, active, and not restricted in any way, such as a designation of temporary or limited. Practice of medicine or osteopathy is defined as a person who holds a physician or surgeon license, including those who are admitted to practice in Missouri by reciprocity.
Physicians will need to complete the physician certification form, which recommends an amount of cannabis and an attestation to the specific qualifying condition. It must be uploaded as an attachment to the patient’s application.
State laws do not allow a patient with an out-of-state medical marijuana card or certification to possess medical marijuana in Missouri.
There is no reciprocity between Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Program and other state medical marijuana programs. Further, being licensed in another state doesn’t automatically qualify a patient for a license in Missouri. Patients may purchase medical marijuana in Missouri only upon presentation of a department-issued patient identification card, which requires proof of residency to obtain.
Licensees are required to test cannabis by an independent laboratory.
HB 2238 defines “hemp extract” as less than 0.3% THC by weight, at least 5% CBD by weight, and containing no other psychoactive substances. All hemp extract must be tested to meet the maximum potency requirements.
Licensing for Growers, Manufacturers, Processors, Retailers, Delivery
The DHSS began accepting applications to cultivate, manufacture, test, transport, or dispense cannabis on Jan. 5, 2019. Missouri allows for vertically integrated operations to apply. The application fees are not refundable, and an application doesn’t guarantee a license. See the FAQ page for updates.
The fee schedule is as follows:
- Cultivation facilities: $10,000 non-refundable application fee and a $25,000 annual fee.
- Dispensary facilities: $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10,000 annual fee.
- Medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities: $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10,000 annual fee.
CBD and Hemp Rules
Is CBD Oil Illegal in Missouri?
To access CBD oil legally in Missouri, a patient must be approved to participate in the Missouri Hemp Extract Registration Program, commonly called MHERP. Only patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy are eligible to participate in this program. Patients younger than 18 must register with a parent or guardian. Patients must apply for a hemp extract registration card allowing the patient to purchase CBD oil from one of two state-licensed facilities. The director’s office of the Division of Community and Public Health oversees the MHERP. Patients also must submit a completed hemp extract registration card indicating that a state-licensed neurologist diagnosed the individual with intractable epilepsy and recommends treatment with hemp extract.
In 2018, the federal Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances and effectively legalized hemp and hemp products nationally. Despite this, the MHERP remains in place for medical marijuana patients in Missouri. According to Missouri state authorities who spoke to Weedmaps, all rules and regulations established through the MHERP are intact and operational.
Do You Need a Prescription for CBD Oil in Missouri?
Ultimately, although a neurologist’s recommendation is not a “prescription,” a recommendation nonetheless functions much the same as a prescription — patients need one before they can buy CBD oil.
The 2014 Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill requires patients who want to purchase, possess, and consume CBD oil to register first through the MHERP. One key step in signing up for this program is to receive an official evaluation, diagnosis, and recommendation to use CBD oil from a state-approved neurologist.
Before issuing the recommendation, the neurologist must confirm that the patient has intractable epilepsy and that the patient is not responding to at least three treatment options. If all conditions are met, the neurologist may issue the patient a recommendation for the MHERP.
- Complete and submit a Missouri Hemp Registration Card application form.
- Submit a Missouri hemp extract registration neurologist certification form signed by a board-certified neurologist licensed to practice in Missouri, including proof that the physician believes CBD may be useful to the patient.
- Submit a copy of a valid Missouri state ID card or driver’s license for proof of age and residency.
- Submit a copy of a record of the neurologist’s evaluation and observation related to the patient’s treatment for intractable epilepsy, along with medical records.
MHERP cardholders are allowed to purchase low-THC hemp extract from one of the two non-profit facilities licensed by the DHSS, the BeLeaf Co. in Earth City and the Noah’s Arc Foundation in Chesterfield. A valid registration card is needed to obtain CBD oil. Cards are valid for one year, and there is no fee to obtain or renew a registration card.
Can You Grow Hemp in Missouri?
As summarized by marijuana advocacy group NORML, there are three main pieces of legislation that affect the cultivation of hemp in Missouri:
- HB 2054, which passed in 2014, explicitly states that industrial hemp is not considered a controlled substance. It also specifies that no one who has been convicted of a drug-related crime can grow hemp.
- HB 2238, also passed in 2014, makes it legal for the DOA to grow industrial hemp for use in research. It also allows for hemp extract to be used to treat certain types of epilepsy.
- HB 2034, which passed in 2018, allows for a licensing program to regulate industrial cultivation, harvesting, and processing of hemp. Throughout 2019, state authorities have been refining and rolling out the program. Businesses that want to participate should be able to begin applying for an industrial license in the fall of 2019.
Patients and their caregivers may not carry more than the legal limit of 20 fluid ounces, or 591.5 milliliters, of low-THC hemp extract. However, if a Missouri physician has signed a waiver, patients may legally obtain and possess more than 20 fluid ounces, or 591.5 milliliters, of CBD oil.
Possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana flower or synthetic marijuana is a misdemeanor. Patients or individuals not registered as patients who knowingly maintain a location where more than 35 grams, or 1.23 ounces, of marijuana is stored, manufactured, distributed, or sold could face felony charges and prison time.
The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice.
This page was last updated on April 6, 2020.