FAQ – Medical Cannabis in Missouri

After the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, hemp and hemp-derived CBD became federally unrestricted products. This means that hemp and hemp-derived CBD can be legally purchased at any retail outlet across the country.

Missouri’s cannabis laws do not apply to hemp and hemp-derived CBD, nor are these products covered under the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program.

Medical cannabis patients must obtain a separate license to cultivate cannabis plants at home. Once the license is obtained, patients are eligible to grow six flowering and six non-flowering plants at one time.

Two patients may share a cultivation space and grow 12 flowering and 12 non-flowering plants. Alternately, primary caregivers can cultivate up to 18 flowering and 18 non-flowering plants if they are caregivers for three patients. Therefore, the maximum amount of cannabis that can be grown in a single growing space is 24 flowering and 24 non-flowering plants.

All cultivation spaces must be enclosed, locked, and have appropriate security measures. Each plant must be labeled with the patient’s name, and the facility must display a “cultivation authorization” for each person growing cannabis.

Medical cannabis patients, with a valid DHSS issued ID card, are eligible to purchase up to 4oz. of dried flower per month. The maximum possession allowance is 60 grams if an individual is growing cannabis plants and 90 grams if they are not cultivating cannabis.

As of January 2020, there are 192 state-licensed dispensaries in the state of Missouri. Medical cannabis patients are required to make all purchases from one of these dispensaries to ensure they are complying with Missouri’s medical cannabis laws.

There is a $25 fee to obtain a medical marijuana ID card from the DHSS. This license, as well as the physician’s medical cannabis recommendation, must be reviewed and renewed annually.

Individuals are allowed to be a medical cannabis patient as well as a primary caregiver for up to three medical cannabis patients at any given time.

Cannabis is a plant that has been used as medicine for thousands of years. The plant has many medicinal properties that can be harnessed to help manage a vast number of conditions and disease processes.
The cannabis plant contains over 100 cannabinoid compounds, such as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), as well as terpenes and flavonoids. The cannabinoids act on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to maintain normal function and homeostasis.
Consuming cannabis causes psychoactive effects and makes the user feel “high”. This is due to the effect of THC on CB1 receptors in the brain that affect areas such as the hippocampus and cerebellum.

Early research suggests that medical cannabis has numerous applications, although further studies are warranted to prove its efficacy.

Current research suggests that cannabis may help reduce anxiety, reduce inflammation and relieve pain, decrease nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, slow cancerous tumor growth, relax tight muscles and reduce spasticity in MS patients, and stimulate appetite in patients with cancer or HIV/AIDS.

Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is the governing body responsible for setting out the regulations and state guidelines for medical cannabis. Any patient who has received a medical cannabis recommendation from their doctor must apply to the DHSS for a medical marijuana identification card.

For more information on Missouri’s medical cannabis program, visit the DHSS website.

In November 2018, residents of Missouri voted on Constitutional Amendment 2, which allows qualified physicians to make medical cannabis recommendations for patients who meet certain criteria.

Recreational cannabis remains illegal in the state of Missouri; however medical cannabis is legal for qualifying patients. Medical cannabis must be purchased at a licensed medical dispensary and adhere to the maximum allowable possession limits.

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Any individual who is 18 years of age and a resident of the state of Missouri may receive a medical cannabis recommendation. To qualify for the program, individuals must have one of the qualifying conditions set forth by the DHSS. Qualifying conditions include cancer, epilepsy, migraines, glaucoma, debilitating psychiatric condition, HIV, AIDS, ALS, inflammatory bowel disease, Chron’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, neuropathies, and Alzheimer’s Disease. A determination may also be made by the physician to recommend medical cannabis for a condition that is not listed if there is clear evidence that cannabis will be of benefit to the patient.

For a full list of qualifying conditions and more information regarding obtaining a medical cannabis recommendation, visit the Department of Health and Senior Services website.

To obtain a medical cannabis recommendation, individuals must be seen, in person, by a state-licensed physician. The patient must demonstrate evidence of a qualifying condition before the recommendation is written.

If your family doctor does not support a medical cannabis recommendation, there are services available to connect you with a medical cannabis doctor who will make the appropriate recommendation.

After a medical cannabis recommendation has been made, individuals are required to apply to the DHSS for a medical marijuana identification card within 30 days of the recommendation being made.

The DHSS began issuing medical marijuana identification cards on July 4, 2019.

A primary caregiver is a person 21 years of age or older who is responsible for the care and well being of a medical cannabis patient. As a primary caregiver, you must apply to the DHSS for a primary caregiver medical marijuana identification card.

Should a primary caregiver resign from their position, they are responsible for notifying the state within ten days and voluntarily surrender their ID card.

To view a full list of qualifying conditions for patients and caregivers, visit the Department of Health and Senior Services website.

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