Updated on May 6, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Medical Marijuana became legalized in Missouri on December 6, 2018. Qualifying patients are able to register with the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) and it is anticipated that patients will be able to purchase medical marijuana in mid-2020.
Once dispensaries are open patients will be able to purchase medical marijuana. There will be a reported 192 licensed dispensaries in Missouri by the end of 2020, with at least 24 dispensary licenses for each United States Congressional district in the State of Missouri. An entity may apply and obtain anywhere from 1-5 total dispensary licenses. Additionally, Missouri will license 60 cultivation facilities to supply medical marijuana for licensed dispensaries.
The Missouri DHSS has received applications for over 500 dispensaries. Missouri’s rules governing cannabis-business licensing dictates that dispensaries will be spread across all parts of Missouri to ensure widespread access.
Some progress was made, in 2014, when the legislature approved changes to the state’s criminal code so possession of a small amount of weed — 10 grams or less — would only be punishable by a fine, not to exceed $500, rather than a jail sentence. However, the state still classifies this offense as a criminal misdemeanor, and possession of larger amounts of marijuana still result in jail time.
For example, if someone is convicted of possessing more than 10 but less than 35 grams of weed, they could face as much as a one-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $2,000. Under marijuana law in Missouri, if someone is convicted of a second offense, they will still face the same punishment even if the amount possessed was less than 10 grams.
Anyone convicted of possession of 35 grams to 30 kilograms of pot will face a Class C felony charge. This could lead to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Possession of from 30-100 kg of weed will be looking at five to 15 years in jail and a fine of anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000.
The cultivation, sale or manufacture of five grams or less of weed is considered a Class C felony, carrying a prison sentence of up to seven years and a fine of as much as $5,000. If someone is convicted of selling cannabis within 1,000 feet of a public housing building or within 2,000 feet of a school, they face anywhere from 10 years to life in prison and a fine of between $5,000 and $20,000. However, Senate Bill 56, introduced in Dec 2016, will allow licenses to be granted for the manufacturing, cultivation, distribution, and sale of medical marijuana.
Even the possession of paraphernalia could result in a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
MarijuanaDoctors.com will continue to monitor developments in Missouri medical marijuana laws and keep you updated. Hopefully, legislative efforts will one day make it possible for patients in the state to find the relief they need without having to turn to powerful, potentially addictive medications.