Although Missouri has now legalized cannabis for adults, legal sales of recreational marijuana are still months away. Voters in Missouri legalized adult-use marijuana with approval of the Third Amendment in November’s midterm elections, and 20 other states also ended recreational marijuana bans.
The Third Amendment, which won 53% of the vote in last month’s election, amends the Missouri Constitution to legalize adult recreational marijuana and strengthen the state’s existing medical marijuana program. The successful ballot measure officially took effect Thursday, making possession of up to 3 ounces of cannabis legal for adults 21 and older under state law.
In 2014, state legislators passed a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, and in 2018, Missouri voters approved a ballot amendment to legalize medical marijuana in the state.
Missouri Rec goes on sale next year
Under the Third Amendment, the state’s existing medical marijuana dispensaries will become the first businesses permitted to sell recreational cannabis, and are expected to begin early next year. John Payne, campaign manager for Legal Missouri 2022, the group behind Amendment 3, said cannabis sales were only allowed “within the regulated system,” but simple possession of marijuana It said it was legal as of Thursday.
“The decriminalization aspect is not dependent on existing license sales.” pain he said.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is currently drafting regulations to govern the adult-use cannabis industry and will begin accepting applications Saturday for general retailers selling both medical marijuana and adult-use cannabis. start. DHSS must begin granting blanket licenses to current medical marijuana outlets by February 6, the earliest it can begin regulated sale of adult-use cannabis in Missouri .
In a statement, DHSS spokesperson Lisa Cox reminded Missourians that it will be some time before the legal sale of recreational marijuana begins.
“It is our commitment to regulate this program as much as possible to keep people safe and healthy. That is our goal.” cox said The statement adds that consumers should be familiar with the Third Amendment and its potential impact on individuals and communities.
Amendment 3 includes provisions to expunge some previous cannabis-related convictions. Under this measure, any person previously convicted of a non-violent marijuana-related charge will have his record reviewed by the court and any eligible convictions removed by June 8, 2023. It’s a schedule.
Although the Third Amendment legalizes cannabis for all adults over the age of 21, the University of Missouri system announced Wednesday that it will continue to ban marijuana on all four campuses.
“Marijuana possession and use remain subject to many restrictions, both under constitutional amendments and federal law.” University system wrote in a statement. “Following a review of the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug-Free Workplace Act, the University of Missouri system will continue to promote the possession of marijuana on university property, university-leased property, and portions thereof. We continue to prohibit the use or distribution of University-sponsored or University-supervised activities.”
Amendments Strengthen Medical Cannabis Programs
The Third Amendment also includes provisions that strengthen Missouri’s existing medical marijuana program. Patients will see an increase in the monthly amount of cannabis that can be legally purchased at licensed dispensaries from 4 ounces to 6 ounces. Additionally, medical marijuana patient ID cards will now be valid for three years rather than subject to annual renewal requirements.
“Patient applications processed after this date (December 8) are valid for three years,” Cox said. “Her current ID holders will retain their existing expiration dates, which will not change with the passage of Amendment 3.”
Dan Bietz, co-author of the 3rd Amendment and coordinator of the Missouri chapter of the National Marijuana Law Reform Organization (NORML), highlighted the importance of cannabis being legalized in a statement from the cannabis advocacy group. pointed out.
“December 8th is a historic day for Missourians.” Vietz said“Most of the 20,000 annual marijuana arrests in our state end on that day. They will also be given the option to grow or purchase cannabis products that have been tested for purity and potency from licensed retailers.”