Is Cannabis Legal in Missouri – What you need to Know
Like many states, the history of cannabis legalization in Missouri began by making hemp products (cannabidiol) legal for residents.
The 2018 Farm Bill made any hemp-derived product with 0.30% or less THC content legal to sell, purchase, possess, and use.
But before the Farm Bill, Missouri passed HB 2238. The new law allowed patients with specific health conditions (like epilepsy) to access CBD with a minimum potency of 5% and a maximum potency of 0.30% THC content.
But legalized medicinal marijuana was just around the corner for patients in Missouri. In 2018, Amendment 2 was approved, creating the Missouri medical cannabis program.
One of the legal rights established for patients included growing medical marijuana at home.
It was not until August 2019 that medical card applications were accepted for patients in Missouri. And it established a four-ounce per 30-day limit. Since then, the Missouri medical marijuana program has continued to evolve.
The most significant change regarding cannabis in the State of Missouri happened during the midterm elections in November 2022.
The ballot measure was supported by Missouri voters to legalize recreational marijuana. And the first adult-use cannabis sales (thanks to the new law in Missouri) began in February 2023.
Whether you live in Missouri or plan to visit the state, there are a few things you need to know about the legal changes regarding cannabis—and recreational sales.
The new laws apply to patients with active medical marijuana license and recreational users.\
Missouri Medical Marijuana Laws
In Missouri, a patient must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to apply for a medical card. If the patient is a minor, a caregiver who is a legal guardian can apply to assist.
Caregivers are registered with the Missouri Medical Marijuana Regulation Program (MMMRP).
Qualifying health conditions are a list of diseases, disorders, or symptoms that can make a patient eligible to receive a medical marijuana card in Missouri.
However, when creating the medical cannabis program, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services gave some flexibility to patients and physicians.
The following diagnoses can make a patient eligible to receive a medical marijuana card in Missouri, per Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution:
- Migraines that have not responded to other treatments
- Psychiatric disorders, including PTSD and other diagnosed mental health conditions. A state-licensed psychiatrist must diagnose the illness.
- End-of-life care (terminal illness)
- A medical condition causing chronic intractable pain due to muscle spasms. This includes Multiple Sclerosis (MS), seizures, Parkinson’s Disease, and Tourette’s syndrome.
- Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disorders
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Huntington’s disease
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
In Missouri, a physician also has the legal authority to recommend a patient for medical cannabis for a health need other than those listed under the state-qualifying health conditions.
If a physician feels the patient may benefit therapeutically from a doctor-supervised cannabis treatment plan, they can approve the application for a medical card.
How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri Cost?
Compared to other states, the medical card in Missouri is very affordable. The first step to getting your medical card is to complete a health review with a licensed Missouri marijuana doctor.
The cost of an appointment with a physician ranges from $150 to $175. The fee to apply with DHHS is $28. But the good news is that your card will not expire for three years if approved.
This is true for both patients and registered caregivers.
Recreational and Adult-Use Cannabis in Missouri
The law legalizing recreational marijuana in Missouri was passed on December 8, 2022. Any Missouri resident over twenty-one (21) years old can visit a legalized recreational dispensary to purchase products.
Patients with a medical card can purchase up to four ounces of cannabis in thirty days. However, Missouri residents without a medical card may only purchase three (3) ounces of cannabis every thirty days.
Currently, there are 163 existing medical dispensaries in Missouri. The Missouri DHHS saw patient applications for medical cards increase by 89.95% in 2021. And by December 2022, 1,700 patients and caregivers received a Missouri medical card.
In 2021, the number of applications for medical cards in Missouri increased by almost 90%.
Unlike neighboring states like Arkansas and Texas, the Missouri cannabis market is expected to increase because of the number of dispensaries available to serve patients.
What Types of Cannabis Are Available at Missouri Dispensaries?
Because recreational marijuana is now legal in Missouri, some people will plan a trip to a local dispensary. You can expect to see the following cannabis products available to purchase:
- Whole flower
- Cannabis vape carts
- Clones and seeds (for state-licensed home cultivators)
Many dispensaries in the state will be hybrid in terms of services. They will serve medical customers and recreational users.
If you have a medical card in Missouri, nothing will change for marijuana users. But now that the adult-use ballot measure passed, legalized recreational cannabis will be available to any resident (or visitor) over twenty-one.
It is important to note that cannabis seeds for cultivation at home can be purchased in-state. However, ordering seeds by mail is against federal law.
Can You Grow Your Marijuana in Missouri?
Both patients and recreational users over the age of twenty-one may grow cannabis at home for personal use. There are some rules to legally home grow in Missouri, however.
To avoid marijuana-related offenses, the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services’ new law requires residents to:
- Pay for and acquire an at-home cultivator’s license.
- Ensure that cannabis grown for recreational use or medical use is cultivated indoors and in a locked and secure location.
A special cultivation license is required to grant permission to grow cannabis at home.
Whether you are a patient or a recreational marijuana user, this license can be issued to a patient, a caregiver, or any Missouri resident. The registration cost to cultivate is $50.
The Missouri DHHS began accepting cultivation license applications to allow people to grow recreational marijuana or medical marijuana at home on February 6, 2023.
Since 2016, DocMJ has provided cannabis recommendations in the Sunshine State (Florida). Visit our website to learn if you can apply for a medical card.
I am a Chief Marketing Officer at DocMJ, a leading provider of medical cannabis health services to qualified patients. I have over 20 years of experience in healthcare marketing and communications, with a proven track record of delivering impactful and compliant campaigns that educate, inform, and empower patients to make better choices for their health and wellness.