Missouri cannabis regulators issue multiple changes to draft rules after feedback
On Monday, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Cannabis Regulation unexpectedly released a third round of draft rules.
Many of the most heavily scrutinized rules have received revisions.
It is expected that the Department will file emergency rules on January 20, with an effective date of February 3. These emergency rules will dictate how agents, businesses, consumers, and patients will operate for the majority of 2023.
Additional comments will be taken on the proposed rules, but those changes will not be implemented until August – meaning this is the last chance for input on rules that will dictate the initial implementation of adult use and will impact the immediate future of medical marijuana. In context, the emergency rules will become the most important tools in effectively shaping the future of cannabis in Missouri.
The comment period for public input is open for only 4 days, closing on January 12, 2023. Feedback on draft rules can be submitted here. A list of all draft rules can be found below.
Several draft rules that received heavy criticism in previous iterations have been removed or substantially amended.
One such rule would have required operators to place cameras in each room inside a facility larger than 3′ x 3′ including areas without access to marijuana plants or product, such as conference rooms and private offices. That requirement has been removed, replaced by language that dictates,
“Video cameras must provide coverage of—
A. All facility building entry and exit points, including windows;
B. All areas of the facility and facility premisis (SIC) where marijuana is or will be present;
C. Each point-of-sale location;
D. All vaults or safes;
E. Any area where a seed to sale system or the statewide track and trace system are accessed;
F. The entire perimeter of the facility, including at least twenty feet (20′) of space around the perimeter of an outdoor grow area; and
G. All marijuana product, from at least two (2) angles, where it is grown, cultivated, manufactured, sampled for testing, tested, stored, weighed, packaged, processed for sale, sold/distributed, rendered unusable, disposed, or loaded for transport;”
Another rule would have restricted access to secured sections of any facility, including the sales floor at dispensaries, to only those over the age of 21 unless they were a medical patient. That rule caused concern from operators in the industry for patients with children or who had frequented dispensaries with a support person who is currently under 21.
Greenway reported previously, that a requirement in the previous draft of the Transportation and Storage document, would restrict facility operators from having offsite warehouses located outside of the congressional district in which the facility license was awarded. “Offsite warehouses must be located within the congressional district in which the underlying facility license was awarded.”
That rule would have put some operations at a significant and distinct disadvantage and created a drastically uneven playing field for businesses that choose to operate offsite warehouses. An operator located in the 8th congressional district could have, in theory, operated a storage facility located in Rolla while the facility itself could sit in Caruthersville, over 200 miles and nearly 4 hours away, while a business whose facility is located in the City of St. Louis or Kansas City would be restricted to building its off-site storage facility within a roughly 30-mile radius.
The language of that rule has been modified and removes that restriction from manufacturers and cultivators, dictating that only dispensaries adhere to that requirement.
“Offsite warehouses for dispensary licensees must be located within the congressional district in which the underlying facility license was awarded.”
The controversial requirement that all license holders “become fully accredited to the current standards set forth by ISO 9001 within one (1) year of the date the facility receives department approval to operate and shall maintain its accreditation,” included in the previous draft rules for Facilities Generally has also been removed, replaced with language that now allows licensees to implement their own quality management system, using a published standard.
Despite many changes seen as positive in the latest round of draft rules, perhaps the most heavily criticized rule included in previous drafts remains in large part.
Restrictions on packaging and advertising have driven much of the conversation around draft rules since November. The language has been called overreaching and potentially unconstitutional by industry participants, with many questioning the rationale behind the changes.
Previous draft rule language read as, “All marijuana product packaging, including exit packaging, may only utilize a single color and a single logo or symbol of a different color or colors, provided the logo or symbol is no larger than one inch in length and one inch in height.”
The revised language is more lenient, but still means significant changes and substantial losses for the majority of Missouri’s existing marijuana operators.
“All marijuana product packaging, including exit packaging, may only utilize a single color, a product name, whether the product is sativa, indica, or a hybrid, and up to two logos or symbols of a different color or colors, which includes logos that are comprised of text, provided the logos or symbols are no larger than two inches in length and two inches in height.”
Review the most recent draft rules in full below.
- DRAFT 100-1.010 Definitions v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.020 Generally Applicable Provisions v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.030 Complaints, Inspections, and Investigations v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.040 Consumers, Qualifying Patients, and Primary Caregivers v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.050 Physicians and Nurse Practitioners v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.060 Facility Application and Selection v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.070 Facility Ownership and Employment v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.080 Facility Employee Training v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.090 Facility Security v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.100 Facilities Generally v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.110 Testing v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.120 Packaging, Labeling, and Product Design v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.130 Inventory Control and Seed-to-Sale Tracking v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.140 Transportation and Storage v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.150 Marijuana Waste Disposal v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.160 Cultivation Facilities v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.170 Manufacturing Facilities v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.180 Dispensary Facilities v3 (01-09-2023)
- DRAFT 100-1.190 Microbusinesses v3 (01-09-2023)