In November, Missouri voters approved Amendment 2 to permit state-licensed physicians to recommend marijuana for medical purposes to patients with serious illnesses and medical conditions.
The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) answered some of the frequently asked questions Missourians have about medical marijuana.
Can I legally possess medical marijuana now?
No. Amendment 2 requires steps be taken before medical marijuana is available.
When will medical marijuana be available?
The Department will begin accepting applications for cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing facilities on August 3, 2019. Medical marijuana is expected to be available for purchase in January 2020, at the earliest.
How do I get medical marijuana?
Step 1: Visit a state-licensed physician (not a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant) to obtain a physician certification.
Step 2: Apply for an ID card from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (starting on July 4, 2019). The fee is $25.
Step 3: Once your application is approved and you receive your ID card (within 30 days of application), purchase medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary (not a pharmacy).
What medical conditions qualify for a medical marijuana certification?
- intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment;
- chronic medical conditions that cause severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to: multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome;
- debilitating psychiatric disorders, including PTSD (if diagnosed by a state licensed psychiatrist;
- HIV or AIDS;
- a chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medicine that can lead to psychological or physical dependence, when a physician determines that medical marijuana could be effective in treating the condition and would be a safer alternative;
- any terminal illness;
- any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition, including but not limited to hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, IBS, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia and wasting syndrome.
(1) People with an out-of-state medical marijuana card or a physician certification cannot legally possess medical marijuana in Missouri on December 6, 2018.
(2) You can grow your own marijuana plants for medical use, with the appropriate ID card and in an appropriate facility.
(3) Applications can be submitted beginning on August 3, 2019, for cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, seed-to-sale, or dispensing facility license. It takes 150 days after the application is received to receive the license, if approved.
(4) The fees for applying are pretty steep. A Cultivation Facilities application requires 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.
The FAQ provided by the DHSS clarifies some of the questions that Missourians have about medical marijuana. We will continue to monitor the development of medical marijuana in Missouri.