What to expect from recreational marijuana in Missouri
While medical marijuana has been legal in Missouri since 2019, beginning December 8, 2022 possession of marijuana becomes legal for all adults over the age of 21.
While dispensaries aren’t expected to open until early next year, many Missourians have questions about what adult use legalization means now and what to expect in the new year.
What does December 8 mean for me?
As of December 8, 2022, “purchasing, possessing, consuming, using, ingesting, inhaling, processing, transporting, delivering without consideration, or distributing without consideration three ounces or less of dried, unprocessed marijuana, or its equivalent,” become legal acts in Missouri.
In the most basic terms, as of December 8, it’s now legal for any adult over age 21 to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana in Missouri. Missouri’s new laws do not allow for public consumption and you may be cited for consuming in public areas, but simple possession, transportation, possession of paraphernalia, and even gifting marijuana to other adults over 21 will all be considered legal activities.
There is one caveat to the terminology, while the amendment specifies purchasing, any person or entity who is not a licensed dispensary who engages in the sale of marijuana would still be in violation of the law, technically.
Gifting marijuana is legal in Missouri
Yes, gifting falls under the parameters of “delivering without consideration, or distributing without consideration.” As such, anyone over 21 now has the ability to gift marijuana to other adults, over 21. There are some things that fall into technical traps – for instance, medical card holders who cultivate at home are required to designate their cultivated plants for themselves. With that in mind, it could still be considered a violation to gift from your medical grow.
Missouri differentiated between two types of customers in marijuana dispensaries
A consumer, an adult over age 21 purchasing marijuana for adult use, and a patient, anyone who has been certified by a physician or nurse practitioner as having a qualifying condition to use medical marijuana for treatment.
When will marijuana be available for purchase?
For existing or new medical marijuana patients, dispensaries are already open and will continue to function as they have for over 2 years.
For adult use consumers, recreational sales are expected to begin in early 2023. On December 8, the department will begin accepting requests from existing medical marijuana facility licensees to convert to a comprehensive facility that can sell marijuana to consumers.
Because the department has 60 days to approve those requests, dispensaries should be approved to begin adult use sales no later than February 6, 2023. While the process will be seamless for most dispensaries, it’s important to check with your local facility before going in as some may have additional steps to implement recreational sales.
Is there any benefit to being a medical marijuana patient?
Patients enjoy a lower tax rate at dispensaries, capped at 4%, versus a 6% tax for adult use purchases – plus an additional local tax of up to 3% on those purchases. Additionally, medical card holders have legal protections as well. In Missouri, medical patients cannot be fired for medical marijuana use off-site during non-work hours, provided that it doesn’t cause an employee to be unable to fulfill their duties or arrive at work intoxicated. There are some caveats for those in certain positions and job types related to duties and employer, but in most circumstances, a failed drug test will no longer be a qualifier for dismissal for medical marijuana users, unfortunately, adult use consumers do not enjoy the same protections.
With the Amendments to Article XIV that legalized adult use, patients will see their licenses move from annual renewals to a three-year renewal, beginning December 8.
Can I grow marijuana at home?
Medical marijuana patients have had the option to cultivate marijuana for their own use, or have a caregiver designated to grow on their behalf since the inception of the program. Now adults over age 21 will have the ability to grow at home as well.
Consumers with an approved consumer personal cultivation identification card will be authorized to cultivate plants for personal, non-commercial use within an enclosed locked facility at their residence.
The Division of Cannabis Regulation will begin accepting applications for consumer personal cultivation as soon as February 6, 2023. Once approved, authorized consumers will be allowed to grow up to 6 flowering marijuana plants, six nonflowering marijuana plants (over fourteen inches tall), and six clones (plants under fourteen inches tall) for personal, non-commercial use. Home growers must ensure that their plants and any marijuana produced by the plants in excess of three ounces are kept at one private residence, are in a locked space, and are not visible by from a public place. While multiple adults may share a dwelling, no more than twelve flowering marijuana plants can be grown in one location at one time.
Medical marijuana home growers will pay a $50 fee every three years, while adult use home growers will be required to pay a $100 fee yearly.
When can I apply for my consumer personal cultivation identification card?
The department will begin accepting applications for consumer personal cultivation as soon as February 6, 2023. More information will be made available on the department’s website. http://cannabis.mo.gov
How much is 3 ounces of marijuana, or its equivalent?
What is the equivalent of an ounce?
Missouri regulations dictate that 3.5 grams of flower, an 1/8, is the equivalent of 1 gram of concentrate or 100mg of THC in infused products, for simple math purposes let’s say each of these equals 1 unit.
A recreational consumer may purchase 24 units per transaction.
For medical marijuana patients, the existing allotment of 4 ounces goes up to 6 ounces, and some patients may still receive certification from a physician or nurse practitioner allowing for an increased monthly allotment. In addition, patients no longer need to seek out two physicians in order to obtain a certification for an increased monthly allowance.
What’s in our 3 ounce shopping cart?
20 – WYNK Black Cherry Fizz Seltzers
4 – Bags of Missouri’s Own Edibles Twice Baked Red Hot Riplets
1 – CLOVR Crème Brûlée White Chocolate Bar
1 – Vibe Cannabis – Ice Cream Social – Pre-Roll 5-Pack
1 – SafeBet – Country Grammer – 1g Blunt
1 gram of Midwest Magic HI-Biscus Cured Budder
1 gram of PROPER CANNABIS Chem 91 Diamonds & Sauce
5 – CONTE Forbidden Guava 1-gram cartridges
10 – Timeless Gummy Worms .5 gram carts
1 ounce of Daybreak Cannabis Glueball flower