Understanding cannabis waste regulations in Missouri


The cannabis industry itself is one of the most highly regulated industries in the US if not the world, yet more times than not, cannabis waste compliance is overlooked. Without a nuanced understanding of Missouri’s cannabis waste laws, it’s not uncommon for operators to fall out of compliance, often without realizing it.

Receptacles used for collecting cannabis waste at a cultivation facility
near St. Louis, Missouri

According to the rules and regulations set forth by the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS), “if the Department determines that a facility is not in compliance with Missouri’s cannabis waste disposal regulations, this can lead to license suspension if not corrected in a timely manner.”

In addition to a nuanced understanding of Missouri’s cannabis waste laws, a compliant disposal solution requires time, energy, labor, rendering material, industrial grade processing equipment, transportation, and disposal fees. A cannabis waste service in good standing with the Department can streamline the disposal process to ensure compliance is maintained from start to finish.

Whether you are a currently licensed operator or a microbusiness applicant, if you have questions about cannabis waste in Missouri, see the answers to the five most frequently asked questions under Regulations.

The answers to these questions are derived from DHSS 19 CSR 30-95.

Trimmed cannabis flower mandated for state destruction


  1. What is cannabis waste?

According to Missouri State Law, cannabis waste is defined as “excess or unusable medical marijuana or medical marijuana byproduct of a cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary, testing, or transportation facility that is non-hazardous. This includes plant waste, such as roots, stalks, flowers, trim, leaves, stems, extracts, spent solvents, and other laboratory wastes.”

  1. Can I throw my cannabis waste in the trash?

No. An operator cannot legally throw cannabis waste into a standard or conventional trash receptacle. Use of these types of receptacles for disposal of unrendered cannabis waste is not compliant with Missouri State Law. Marijuana waste must be rendered unusable, then delivered to a permitted solid waste facility for final disposition.

All facility waste of any type must be stored securely before final disposition. Secure storage can be done within the facility in areas designated for disposal activities, or if necessary, outside the facility in a locked, tamper-resistant receptacle.


Waste receptacles used for storing cannabis waste for pickup at a cultivation facility in St. Louis, Missouri
  1. How often do I need to dispose of my cannabis waste?

Missouri state law recommends that cannabis waste first be secured, and then properly rendered on a weekly basis, or as soon as receptacles are full. This regularly scheduled attention to disposal prevents mold and decreases the opportunity for other contaminants to spread. 

Regularly scheduled waste disposal will also ensure a facility is compliant with the rules and regulations set forth by DHSS for waste management.

  1. Does cannabis waste need to be track and traced?

Yes. “Solid and liquid wastes generated during medical marijuana production and processing must be stored, managed, and disposed of in accordance with applicable state, tribal, local, and municipal laws and regulations. Facilities must keep records of the final disposal destinations of all such wastes for at least five (5) years.” A compliant cannabis waste service will always provide the operator with a signed and dated waste manifest after final disposal.

  1. What penalties can cannabis operators face for non-compliant cannabis waste disposal in Missouri?

If the Department determines, during an inspection or otherwise, that a facility is not in compliance with the Department’s cannabis waste regulations, the department will issue an Initial Notice of Violation to the facility that explains how the facility has violated the Department’s regulations.

After a facility has been notified of violations, the facility shall correct the violations within fifteen (15) days. If the department’s follow-up inspection reveals the waste violations have not been corrected, the department will issue a Final Notice of Violation to the facility.

If the violations have not been corrected thirty (30) days after a Final Notice of Violation and no extension of this deadline has been granted by the department, the facility’s license or certification will be suspended, the facility will be required to cease operations.


19 CSR 30-95 Department of Health & Senior Services


A waste service that understands and follows the state’s cannabis waste rules and regulations contributes to its own success as a service provider in the cannabis industry and contributes to the success of the facilities it serves. Likewise, a cannabis operation that chooses a compliant waste provider contributes to its own success as a business.

Whether you are an existing comprehensive facility or a new microbusiness facility applicant, if you have questions about cannabis waste in Missouri, we’ve got answers. Contact Monarch Waste here.


Zach McCullough | Co-Owner of Monarch Waste Co.
Monarch Waste is proud to be Missouri’s 1st cannabis waste service. We are also proud to be sustainable. Through strategic partnerships with like-minded brands, Monarch Waste Co. is taking the lead to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Missouri’s cannabis industry. Our clients agree — cannabis can be green!