Since January 2020, when Missouri began giving out marijuana licenses, there has been a lot of competition. Out of the 1,200 people who applied for pharmacy licenses, only 192 were chosen. The state just recently made it legal for people to use weed.
This means that anyone over 21 can legally buy cannabis. Adults in Missouri who want to use cannabis can do so right now under rules that will become law in August 2023. For now, this post will only talk about Missouri’s medical cannabis laws until the state accepts the suggested rules. But next, we’ll talk about the most important changes for shops that sell cannabis for private use.
Overview Of Adult-use Cannabis Laws For Missouri Dispensaries
In November 2022, a vote measure to allow people to use cannabis for recreational purposes was approved. By December of that same year, people aged 21 and up could legally own cannabis. The sale of weed for adult use will be legalized in February 2023.
The key changes that dispensaries must note when switching from a medical license to a comprehensive facility are:
- Consumers will be required to present a valid government-issued photo ID when purchasing adult-use cannabis products at a dispensary.
- Current employees under the age of 21 may continue working at any licensed cannabis facility, but after February 3, 2023, all new facility agents must be 21 or older.
- -use purchase limits are 3 ounces per transaction.
- Adult-use purchases will be taxed at 6% in addition to any local taxes.
- Recreational licenses will be the same as medical licenses.
- Medical and recreational customers will be able to purchase the same inventory.
Additional information about the transition to adult-use sales includes:
- Applications for conversion will be accepted beginning December 8, 2022. Information on the application process is found here.
- After February 6, 2023, adults 21 and over can legally cultivate cannabis plants for personal, non-commercial use within an enclosed locked facility.
- No new medical or comprehensive license applications will be accepted for the time being.
Learn more about Missouri’s transition to adult-use cannabis at the state website.
Missouri Medical Cannabis Laws At A Glance
- The regulatory body for Missouri’s medical marijuana industry is the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).
- Persons under the age of 18 can receive a medical marijuana license through a primary caregiver with the consent of a parent or legal guardian who will act as the primary caregiver.
- Medical marijuana patients can purchase a maximum of 4oz of flower or its equivalent per 30-day period.
- Dispensaries must use state-approved seed-to-sale tracking software to manage inventory and report sales to Metrc.
- Medical marijuana is subject to a specific 4% state tax in addition to any sales taxes.
- Licensed dispensaries can sell marijuana and marijuana-infused products, including flowers, concentrates, and edibles to licensed patients and may sell plants, seeds, and clones to qualifying patients who are authorized to cultivate medical marijuana.
- All parts of the supply chain are licensed, including cultivators, testing labs, manufacturing facilities, transporters, and dispensaries.
Law #1: Managing Inventory
Law: (G) All facilities that grow cannabis, make infused products, sell them, test them, or transport them must use the following inventory control methods and procedures:
1. Each facility must choose in writing a facility agent who is in charge of that facility’s inventory control systems and processes.
2. Any time medical marijuana is weighed or measured as required by this rule, it must be done on a National Type Evaluation Program-approved scale that can always do an exact job and is recalibrated at least once a year.
3. Every facility must use a seed-to-sale tracking system approved by the department to keep track of medical marijuana from the time it is a seed or an immature plant until it is bought by a qualifying patient or main caregiver or thrown away.
4. When you put information into the seed-to-sale tracking system, you have to include the starting inventory, harvests, purchases, sales, payments, repairs, disposals, transfers, ending inventory, and any other information needed for inventory control records in the statewide track and trace system.
5. It is up to each dispensary to make sure that the seed-to-sale tracking system records every amount of medical marijuana sold or given to a qualifying patient or main caregiver as a purchase made by or on behalf of that qualifying patient.
Explained: Here are the basics of compliantly managing inventory:
1. You must designate someone at your dispensary to oversee inventory.
2. Dispensaries must use a National Type Evaluation Program-approved scale, to be calibrated at least annually.
3. Final oversight and auditing powers go to the Missouri DHSS.
Inventory must be tracked in state-approved software from seed to sale. Also, you need to keep track of how much medical marijuana is given to or sold to approved patients.
Metrc is Missouri’s track-and-trace system. Every check-in and transaction must be sent to Metrc in real time by dispensaries.
Law #2: Dispensary licensing
Law: (1) Access to Dispensary Facility Licenses. (A) The number of dispensary facility licenses will be limited to one hundred ninety-two (192) unless the department determines the limit must be increased in order to meet the demand for medical marijuana by qualifying patients.
(B) Dispensary facility licenses will be limited to twenty-four (24) in each of the eight (8) United States congressional districts in the state of Missouri as drawn and in effect on December 6, 2018. (C) A facility license will be issued for a single facility in a single location.
4. If a facility is granted a license or certification but has not passed a commencement inspection within one (1) year of the department issuing the license or certification, the license or certification may be revoked.
(G) Cultivation, infused product manufacturing, and dispensary licenses and testing and transportation certifications are valid for three (3) years from the date the license or certification is issued and shall, except for good cause, be renewable by submitting, prior to expiration by at least one hundred fifty (150) days but no sooner than two hundred fifty (250) days, an updated application. (H) The department shall charge an application or renewal fee for a facility license or certification and also an annual fee once a license or certification is granted.
Explained: Any facility cultivating, manufacturing, selling, transporting, testing, or otherwise working with medical marijuana must be licensed.
An important note is that the regulations specify awarding only 192 dispensary licenses in Missouri. This means all the available licenses have been awarded.
Here’s the process of applying for a dispensary license in Missouri:
- A $6,000 non-refundable fee is required to apply for a dispensary license up until 12/26/2021, after that date, it will be $3,000.
- Any entity under substantially common control, ownership, or management” can be issued up to 5 dispensary licenses, 3 cultivation licenses, or 3 manufacturing licenses.
- Dispensaries must pay a $10,373.22 annual fee for their dispensary license. The Missouri DHSS is responsible for reviewing and approving dispensary licenses.
Basic Facility License Applicant Requirements:
- Proof of Missouri residency for at least 1 year.
- Entities must be majority-owned by natural persons who’ve been citizens of Missouri for at least 1 year and don’t claim residency in any other state or country.*
- All principal officers, owners, and managers must undergo a criminal background check by the Missouri State Highway Patrol within 6 months of applying
*This requirement is currently barred from being enforced under a preliminary injunction in Togio v. DHSS.
- Facilities can’t be owned by or employ those with disqualifying felony offenses.
Definition to know: “Majority owned” means more than 50% of the economic interests and more than 50% of the voting interests of an entity.
This law also outlines details of note for current license-holders:
- You must pass your commencement inspection within 1 year of being issued the license, or your license may be revoked.
- Your license is valid for 3 years from the date it was issued. You will need to renew by submitting an updated application between 150-250 days prior to expiration. Renewal fees will apply.
Law #3: Penalties And Fines
Law: (5) The department will punish people in the following ways: (A) If someone is caught with marijuana in amounts between their legal limit and twice their legal limit, they will lose their ID card(s) and be fined $200; (B) If a facility doesn’t package medical marijuana according to 19 CSR 30-95.040(4)(K), they will be fined $5,000.
1. Patients or main caregivers who extract resins in this way will lose their ID cards and be fined $1,000. This is in line with 19 CSR 30- 95.030(3)(B)1.I.
2. According to 19 CSR 30-95.040(1)(F)7., facilities that remove resins in this way will also be fined $10,000.
Explained: Simply put, Missouri regulations prohibit the following:
- A patient’s medical card will be revoked and they will be fined $200 if they are caught with between 4-8 oz of marijuana.
- If a patient is caught extracting resins without a MIP license, they’ll be fined $1,000 and their med card will be revoked.
- Possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana or synthetic marijuana by a non-patient is punishable by a $500 fine, however, prior offenders of controlled substance laws may face higher fines and possible jail time.
- Licensed Facilities that do not possess an MIP license will be fined $10,000 for extracting resins from marijuana using combustible gases or other dangerous materials.
- There’s a $5,000 fine for improperly packaged products, and the products could be recalled for repacking or disposal.
Law #4: Purchase And Possession Limits
Law: (5) Time Limits on Buying and Having Something. (A) In a thirty-day period, qualifying patients can only buy or have their main caregivers buy four ounces of dried, unprocessed marijuana or the equivalent. (B) Qualifying patients can only have, or give their primary caregiver permission to have the following:
1. For qualifying patients who don’t grow their own medical marijuana or have it grown for them, up to sixty (60) days’ worth of dried, unprocessed marijuana or an equivalent amount or If a qualifying patient grows marijuana for medical reasons or if their primary caregivers grow marijuana for them, they can get up to ninety (90) days’ worth of dried, unprocessed marijuana or something similar, as long as the medical marijuana they or their primary caregivers grow stays on their property and is under their control.
(C) Medical marijuana bought from a pharmacy must be kept in the packaging it came in or with the packaging itself. (D) Primary caregivers can have a separate legal limit for each qualifying patient they are responsible for and for themselves if they are a qualifying patient.
Each limit must be kept separate for each qualifying patient and marked with the name of that patient. The limits on buying and having this substance set out in this section do not apply to a qualifying patient who has written confirmation from two (2) different doctors that they need a bigger amount than what is allowed by this section.
Patients who qualify and their main caregivers can buy medical marijuana and products with medical marijuana in them. Patients who are allowed to grow their own medical marijuana can also buy plants, seeds, and clones.
Explained: Qualifying patients and primary caregivers may purchase medical marijuana and medical marijuana-infused products. Qualifying patients who are authorized to cultivate medical marijuana may also purchase plants, seeds, and clones.
Other points of note:
- Patients can’t purchase seeds or clones if they aren’t “authorized to cultivate.”
- Patients can exceed the purchase limits if they receive approval from two physicians.
Medical patients can have in their possession:
- Up to 6 flowering marijuana plants
- Up to a 60-day supply (8 ounces or 226 grams) of unprocessed marijuana or equivalent if not cultivating.
- Up to a 90-day supply (12 ounces or 339 grams) of dried, unprocessed marijuana or equivalent if cultivating.
Law #5: Patients And Caregivers
Law: (2) Identification Card Applications. Qualifying patients and primary caregivers shall obtain identification cards from the department, which will include unique, identifying numbers for each patient and each caregiver-patient relationship. A qualifying patient or his or her primary caregivers may also obtain an identification card to cultivate up to six (6) flowering marijuana plants for the exclusive use of that qualifying patient.
The department will receive applications for qualifying patients, primary caregivers, and patient cultivation electronically through a department-provided, web-based application system. (A) All applications for qualifying patient identification cards and renewal of such identification cards shall include at least the following information:
1. The qualifying patient’s name, date of birth, and Social Security number
2. The qualifying patient’s residence address and mailing address or, if the qualifying patient has no residence or mailing address, an address where the qualifying patient can receive mail.
3. A statement that the qualifying patient resides in Missouri and does not claim resident privileges in another state or country, as well as proof of current Missouri residency, which shall be shown by— A.
A copy of a valid Missouri driver’s license, a Missouri Identification Card, a current Missouri motor vehicle registration, or a recent Missouri utility bill or B. If none of these proofs are available, some other evidence of residence in Missouri shall be approved or denied by the director of the medical marijuana program as sufficient proof of residency.
4. The qualifying patient’s e-mail address
5. A statement confirming that— A. One (1) physician certification, which is less than thirty (30) days old, has been submitted on behalf of the qualifying patient; or B. Two (2) physician certifications, which are less than thirty (30) days old, have been submitted on behalf of the qualifying patient in order to authorize possession limits other than those established by section (5) of this rule
6. A legible copy of the qualifying patient’s photo identification issued by a state or federal government entity
7. If the qualifying patient is a non-emancipated qualifying patient, the name, Social Security number, and a Parental/Legal Guardian Consent Form, included herein, are completed by a parent or legal guardian who will serve as the primary caregiver for the qualifying patient.
8. A clear, color photo of the applicant’s face taken within the prior three (3) months.
9. At the option of the applicant, a statement indicating whether the applicant is currently receiving assistance from any Missouri programs for low-income individuals, and if so, which programs.
10. If the patient is seeking authority to cultivate medical marijuana—
A. The address of the facility in which the qualifying patient will cultivate marijuana.
B. A description of the security arrangements and processes that will be used to restrict access to only qualifying patients and their primary caregivers.
C. The name and Patient License Number or Caregiver License Number, if applicable, of one (1) other qualifying patient. 11. An attestation that the information provided in the application is true and correct; 12. The signature of the qualifying patient and the date the qualifying patient signed, or, in the case of a non-emancipated qualifying patient, the signature of the parent or legal guardian who will serve as the primary caregiver for the qualifying patient and the date the parent or legal guardian signed; and 13. All applicable fees.
One (1) qualifying patient may cultivate up to six (6) flowering marijuana plants, six (6) nonflowering marijuana plants (over fourteen (14) inches tall), and six (6) clones (plants under fourteen (14) inches tall) at any given time in a single, enclosed locked facility.
Explained: Patients over the age of 18 or primary caregivers, or patients under 18 who have an ID issued by the Missouri DHSS, can purchase medical marijuana.
- Patient or primary caregiver ID cards cost $25 and are valid for 1 year.
- Patients and caregivers must apply via the DHSS within 30 days of physician certification.
Qualifying Conditions For Receiving A Medical Marijuana License:
- A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication could lead to physical or psychological dependence when a physician determines that medical use of marijuana could be effective in treating that condition and would serve as a safer alternative to the prescription medication
- A terminal illness
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, and wasting 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
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, and wasting syndrome
- In the professional judgment of a physician, any other chronic, debilitating, or other medical condition, including, but not limited to, hepatitis C
- 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
Patients who wish to cultivate marijuana plants must apply for and receive a qualifying patient cultivation identification card. The cultivation card allows them to grow the following at any given time in a single, enclosed, locked facility
- 6 flowering plants
- 6 clones (plants under 14 inches tall)
- 6 non-flowering plants (over 14 inches tall)
Law #6: Delivery
The law says that dispensaries must do the following for every transaction: 1. Get the transaction order in person, by phone, or online from the qualifying patient or primary caregiver; 2. Make sure the order comes from the qualifying patient or primary caregiver and not a third party; 3. At the time of sale, use the statewide track and trace system to make sure that the qualifying patient or primary caregiver is currently allowed to buy the amount of medical marijuana asked for.
If the patient or primary caregiver is buying seeds, make sure that they are currently allowed to grow medical marijuana. 3. If you’re ordering medical marijuana for delivery, get paid before the marijuana leaves the dispensary, and you can get your money back if the delivery can’t happen. 4. When you sell or deliver medical marijuana, you must show a government-issued photo ID, a qualifying patient or primary caregiver identification card, or a patient cultivation identification card if you plan to grow the marijuana yourself.
Explained: Missouri cannabis law states dispensaries can use the Pizza Truck Model to deliver cannabis, as long as they adhere to these stipulations:
- The vehicles have to be secure (some retailers hire transporters for delivery transactions).
- You need manifests to have cannabis in a vehicle.
- Payment must be received before cannabis leaves the store.
Vehicles can’t be marked in any way that indicates medical marijuana is being transported and must have (see Page 30, 19 CSR 30-95.100.1):
- A secure lockbox or locking cargo area for storing marijuana during transit.
- GPS tracking.
- Video monitoring of the driver and passenger compartment of the vehicle as well as any space where medical marijuana is stored.
- A secure lockbox for storing payments and video monitoring recording equipment.
Law #7: Packaging And Labels
Law: (K) All facilities that grow marijuana, make infused goods, or sell marijuana must make sure that all medical marijuana is packaged and labeled in a way that follows these rules: 1. Facilities must not make, package, or label marijuana in a way that: A. is false or misleading; B. is meant to confuse with other products that do not contain marijuana; or C. is meant to appeal to a child.
The containers that marijuana and marijuana-infused products come in must have: A. “Marijuana” or “Marijuana-infused Product” in a font size at least as big as the biggest other font size used on the package; and B. “Warning: Marijuana use may cause cognitive and physical impairment” in a font size no smaller than seven (7) points.
3. Any marijuana or marijuana-infused products that are packed for sale in stores before they are sent to a dispensary must be put in clear, resealable packaging that is made to be very hard for kids younger than five (5) years old to open but not too hard for adults to use correctly.
When marijuana or marijuana-infused products are delivered to a dispensary, they must be put in opaque, resealable packaging that is made to be very hard for children under five (5) years old to open but not normally hard for adults to use correctly.
The dispensary must then package these items for sale to a qualifying patient or primary caregiver in a way that makes it easy for adults to do so. Before being sent to a dispensary, all edible goods with marijuana in them must be packaged for sale by the company that made them.
4. Every marijuana product and product containing marijuana must have a sticker that says the following, in this order: As for the total weight of the weed in the package, it is: 1. The weight of dried, unprocessed marijuana must be given in ounces or grams.
2. The weight of concentrates must be given in grams. 3. The weight of infused goods must be given in milligrams of THC. It should include dosage amounts, how to use them, and an idea of how long the dose will work; C. The amount of THC, tetrahydrocannabinol acid, cannabidiol, cannabidiol acid, and cannabinol in each dose; D.
A list of all the active and inactive ingredients, excluding words like “proprietary mix” or “spices” that make the ingredients harder to see; F. A “best if used by” date; and E. For dried, unprocessed marijuana, the name of the growing facility that the marijuana in the package came from, as recorded with the Missouri Secretary of State; and F. For infused products, the name of the manufacturer of the infused product, as recorded with the Missouri Secretary of State;
5. The branding, artwork, or other things that are on marijuana or products containing marijuana must not be placed in a way that hides any of the information that is needed by this section.
6. Marijuana and products containing marijuana can’t say that they are good for you, but they can put health warnings on the package; and
7. Marijuana and goods containing marijuana must always have tags that make them easy to track. These tags must be made by the statewide track and trace system.
Explained: Packaging and label requirements look complex, but essentially:
- Medical marijuana products must be clearly labeled as “Marijuana” or “Marijuana-infused product” in a font as large as the largest other font size on the packaging.
- Packaging must be opaque, resealable, and difficult for children under 5 to open.
- Packing cannot boast health benefit claims and must list out the required warnings.
- Packaging must be tagged with information from the statewide track and trace system
- The warning, “Warning: Cognitive and physical impairment may result from the use of Marijuana” must be included in at least 7-point font.
- Packaging cannot be appealing to a minor.
Labels Must Include The Following:
- Total weight of the marijuana in the package. For dried marijuana, listed in ounces or grams. For concentrates, listed in grams. And for infused products, listed by milligrams of THC.
- All active and inactive ingredients
- For dried marijuana, the name of the cultivating facility, or for infused products, the name of the manufacturer.
- Best if used by date
- Estimated length of time of effects
- Concentration per dose
- Dosage amounts
- Instructions for use
Law #8: Track-And-Trace Systems
Law: (3) Requirements for a Seed-to-Sale Tracking System. All seed-to-sale tracking systems used by cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary, testing, and transportation facilities shall be capable of— (A) Interfacing with the statewide track and trace system such that a licensed or certificated facility may enter and access information in the statewide track and trace system as required for inventory control and tracking by 19 CSR 30-95.040(4)(G) and for purchase limitations by 19 CSR 30-95.080(2)(C); (B) Providing the department with access to all information stored in the system’s database.
(C) Maintaining the confidentiality of all patient data and records accessed or stored by the system such that all persons or entities other than the department may only access the information in the system that they are authorized by law to access, and (D) Producing analytical reports to the department regarding— 1. Total quantity of daily, monthly, and yearly sales at the facility per product type; 2. Average prices of daily, monthly, and yearly sales at the facility per product type; and 3. Total inventory or sales record adjustments at the facility.
Each time a transaction takes place, the dispensary must: 1. Get the transaction order directly from the qualifying patient or main caregiver, either in person, over the phone, or online; 2. Make sure the transaction order doesn’t come from a third party; At the time of sale, use the statewide track and trace system to make sure that the qualifying patient or primary caregiver is currently authorized to buy the amount of medical marijuana asked for. If the patient or primary caregiver is buying seeds, make sure that they are currently authorized to grow medical marijuana.
For starters, you need to use Metrc as Missouri’s state track-and-trace system. The second thing is that the software your shop uses to keep track of inventory and sales must be state-approved and work with Metrc. This software is usually your point-of-sale (POS).
To keep track of inventory and report sales, license users can only use trace-and-trace software that has been approved by the state.
Metrc needs to know about all sales in real-time, which means right away as the deal happens.
If a facility or employee doesn’t follow the seed-to-sale tracking rules, the facility’s license could be taken away.
Missouri Cannabis Laws FAQS
Q. Who in Missouri can apply for a license to use medical marijuana?
People in Missouri over the age of 18 who have a prescription from a doctor can apply for a medical marijuana patient card. There are some exceptions for people under the age of 18.
Q. Is Missouri a legal state for marijuana?
Missouri allows both medical and recreational marijuana use. This means that anyone over the age of 21 can legally buy weed.