Yesterday was a day that will live in infamy in Missouri, with voters approving Amendment 2 which legalizes cannabis for medical purposes. Amendment 2 was one of 3 medical cannabis measures on Missouri’s ballot, with the other two being soundly defeated.
A lot of people in Missouri are likely now wondering when the law takes effect and people can start applying to become registered medical cannabis patients. Below is an explanation from Ballotpedia (bold text added for emphasis):
Amendment 2 would require the state Department of Health and Senior Services to begin accepting applications for qualifying patients within 180 days after December 6, 2018 (therefore, no later than June 4, 2019). Amendment 2 would require the department to begin accepting applications for dispensaries no later than 240 days after December 6, 2018 (therefore, no later than August 3, 2019). The department would be required to accept or reject applications for dispensaries within 150 days of receiving them.
It will be a bit before Missouri’s medical cannabis program is up and running, and there will be a lot of rulemaking in the coming months. It’s vital for cannabis advocates in Missouri to participate in the rulemaking process from start to finish and to keep the pressure on lawmakers and bureaucrats to uphold the will of the voters. Below are some of the main provisions of Amendment 2:
- Registered patients will be allowed to cultivate up to 6 plants at home
- Registered caregivers will be allowed to cultivate up to 18 plants
- Registered patients will be able to purchase up to 4 ounces of cannabis every 30 days from dispensaries and possess 8 ounces at home (or more if 2 doctors approve increased possession limits for the patients)
- Medical cannabis sales will be taxed 4% when dispensaries are launched, with the tax revenue and license fees going first to funding Missouri’s medical cannabis program and the rest going to supporting Missouri military veteran services (very cool!)
- Qualifying conditions include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, intractable migraines, severe muscle spasms, debilitating psychiatric disorders, HIV, prescription medication addiction, any terminal illness, any other medical condition that a physician determines to be debilitating or chronic