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Missouri Medical Marijuana

Updated on November 19, 2021.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Getting a Medical Marijuana Prescription in MO

Missouri has historically been a state with very prohibitive laws about cannabis. However, some communities were progressive with decriminalization and legalization of cannabis ahead of the state legislature. And that helped put pressure on lawmakers for reform. Now eligible patients can register to get a medical card in Missouri with a one-year expiration date. And access to legalized medical marijuana for therapeutic use at one of many Missouri cannabis dispensaries. 

Medical Marijuana in Missouri (2021 Update)

Advertising for medical marijuana in Missouri is prohibited, and the laws are stringent. However, new rules were proposed on November 4, 2021, that would ease some of the restrictions.

Under the 19 CSR 30-95.080 Dispensary Facility laws, dispensaries cannot advertise sales, special discounts, or promotional events. But lawmakers feel that is a disadvantage to patients, who may take advantage to help economize medical marijuana. 

If the amendment passes, dispensaries will be able to publish advertisements with an approved disclaimer. The following statement must be on every advertisement to be legally compliant: “Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products.”

Seniors, veterans, and other patients may benefit from learning about loyalty programs and discounts offered. This could help make medical marijuana more affordable for patients in Missouri. 

FAQs

Who qualifies for medical marijuana in Missouri?

Patients who are eighteen (18) years of age or older may be eligible to apply for a medical card. In order to apply, patients must have one of the qualifying health conditions. 

According to Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution, the following health conditions may qualify a patient for access to legalized medical marijuana:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Intractable migraines 
  • 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
  • Psychiatric Disorders (PTSD)
  • HIV/AIDS
  • A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication that 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
  • Terminal illness
  • Hepatitis C, 
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, 
  • Crohn’s disease, 
  • Huntington’s disease, 
  • Autism, Neuropathies, 
  • Sickle Cell Anemia, 
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, 
  • Cachexia
  • Wasting Syndrome.

Patients must be diagnosed with one (or more than one) of the qualifying health conditions before applying for a Missouri MMJ card. For psychiatric disorders, other traumas and conditions may be eligible, on the recommendation of a Missouri mental health specialist.

What Medical Marijuanas are Available in MO?

Only medical cannabis is legal in Missouri. The state has ensured that patients have a wide selection of cannabis products available through licensed dispensaries.

Patients with a valid Missouri medical card and government-issued photo identification can purchase:

  • Whole flower (raw cannabis)
  • Pre-rolls
  • Vape cartridges
  • Edibles
  • Topicals
  • Concentrates and Extracts

If you have a Missouri medical card, you are limited to the quantity of cannabis you can buy. The state uses a system called “Marijuana Equivalency Units” or MMEs. And patients are permitted to use or buy up to 32 MMEs of cannabis per month. 

One (1) MME is equivalent to:

  • Up to 3.5 grams (0.123 ounces) of cannabis
  • Up to 1 gram of marijuana concentrate 
  • Up to 100 mg of THC infused product

A patient with a medical card may still be charged with possession if they buy more than the maximum MMEs. This can be tricky when it comes to heavier edibles like gummies. Monitor the overall weight of your purchases to avoid legal problems. 

Residents of Missouri with a medical marijuana card should only purchase cannabis from a licensed dispensary. There are no legal protections when medical marijuana is purchased anywhere else. And there is a growing concern about unlicensed dispensaries in the state. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Missouri Medical Card?

In Missouri, you can get a medical card if you are age eighteen (18) years or older. Patients who are minors or under the age of eighteen are required to designate a legal guardian as a caregiver

Do I need to create my MMJ patient profile?

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services requires that patients first get their Physician Certification Form (electronic or paper). The next step is for patients to set up an online profile and complete the application process. 

The Missouri DOH provides a video tutorial about the medical marijuana card application process. Patients have to complete the application through the Missouri Registry Portal within thirty days of receiving the Physician’s certification letter. 

Can I register my child for medical marijuana?

Yes. Children under the age of eighteen years can apply for a medical card. However, a legal guardian age twenty-one (21) or older or parent must complete the application. And then become designated as a medical cannabis caregiver. 

It can take up to thirty days for a new patient or caregiver application to be processed. Log into your patient portal to check the status of your application. If there is information missing, it will be indicated. 

There is a pop-up notification if your application has been rejected. However, if your Missouri medical card application has been approved, you will see the PAT/CAR license number indicated.

How can I become a caregiver for MMJ in MO?

To apply as a caregiver, the applicant must have a completed Patient Authorization Form for the minor. Caregivers can assist up to three (3) different patients. As long as the caregiver is responsible for the wellness and treatment planning of the minor. This also applies to adults who are dependent on the caregiver for activities of daily living. 

Visit the Missouri DOH website for instructions, forms, and other resources to apply as a medical cannabis caregiver.

How do I renew my Missouri medical card?

Renewal of the Missouri medical marijuana card is required every year. There is a $25 fee payable to the Department of Health for the medical card renewal.

Before a patient can renew their Missouri medical card, however, they must complete a consultation with a licensed physician. The doctor will recertify the patient for therapeutic cannabis use. 

A new recertification letter is required to renew. However, patients are not required to provide proof of residency, photo identification, and other documentation for renewal. 

If your medical card expires, you will be required to re-apply. Renewal after the expiration of your current Missouri medical card is not allowed. 

What if I lose my medical card in MO?

If you lose your medical card in Missouri, you have to notify the Department of Health and Senior Services within two days. The fastest way to request a new card is by email to: medicalmarijuanainfo@health.mo.gov.

Where do you get medical marijuana in Missouri?

Missouri has licensed a large number of medical marijuana dispensaries across the state. Patients can find a variety of products and get suggestions on cannabis strains, potencies, and intake methods. 

When did medical marijuana in MO become legal?

The Missouri medical marijuana amendment took effect on December 6, 2016. That made cannabis legal within regulatory guidelines for patients with a MO medical card. 

The History of Medical Marijuana in Missouri

November, 2004—Columbia, Missouri, becomes the first jurisdiction to decriminalize cannabis with a 61% ballot vote in favor. Possession of up to 35 grams 1.235 ounces was no longer a criminal offense. And it was subject to a fine of $250 instead. That same year Columbia passed another initiative to allow medical cannabis use. At that time, 69% of residents in Columbia voted to approve the measure. The state would not legalize medical cannabis for another fourteen (14) years. 

Source Web 2021: norml.org

July, 2014—Then-Governor Jay Nixon signed House Bill 2238. The Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill only legalized the use of clinical-grade CBD oil for the treatment of seizures. There was a 5% cannabidiol (CBD) requirement and a maximum 0.30% THC limit for patients. In order to legally use CBD in Missouri, patients were required to consult with a neurologist. And provide proof that other treatments for epilepsy had been ineffective. 

Source Web 2021: house.mo.gov

July, 2019—The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MHSS) began accepting patient identification card applications on July 4, 2019. 

Source Web 2021: health.mo.gov

October, 2020—The first sales of medical cannabis began on October 17, 2020. There were over 190 medical dispensaries licensed and either open or planning to open by the end of 2020. 

Source Web 2021: cannabisdispensarymag.com

 

Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation

PO Box 570

Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570

Toll-Free Access Line: 866-219-0165

(9:00 am – 3:00 pm CST Tuesday-Thursday)

Email for general inquiries: medicalmarijuanainfo@health.mo.gov

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