Missouri regulators issue guidance on marijuana samples and giveaways
On February 9, Missouri’s Division of Cannabis Regulation issued new guidance for marijuana operators in the state regarding sampling and giveaways.
While a majority of the guidance comes as no surprise to the state’s operators, one section may change how a majority of the state’s licensed cultivators and manufacturers handle sampling and promotional giveaways.
While possession of marijuana and gifting were legalized for adults over age 21 in December of 2022, adult use sales in dispensaries in Missouri did not launch until February 3.
Piggybacking on that launch, regulators have clarified what dispensaries and other operators are and are not allowed to do as it pertains to sampling and giveaways.
“With the implementation of adult use and an increase in facility events, licensees are reminded of the requirements in 19 CSR 100-1 for sale and distribution of marijuana product. Dispensary licensees are the only license type with the authority to sell or distribute (give away) marijuana product to qualifying patients, primary caregivers and consumers. 19 CSR 100-1.180(2)(D)2.F specifically outlines that licensees are to record all disbursements of marijuana product in the statewide track and trace system, Metrc, even in instances where prices are discounted or waived.”
Operators are accustomed to tracking product through Metrc and using dispensaries to as points to track samples, but the language that may shake up the way cultivators and manufacturers do business lies further in the guidance letter.
“There is no scenario where a licensee or agent ID holder working for a licensee may give away, sell or otherwise distribute marijuana to anyone unless they are doing so in an approved area of the dispensary facility and each individual person and product is entered into Metrc appropriately.” (Emphasis added.)
This clarification means that sales and promotional staff, as well as other employees, with agent id cards employed by licensed cultivation and manufacturing operators will not be able to give samples or gift marijuana products outside of a dispensary sales floor.
The language is designed as a stiff deterrent to deferment.
With the clarification, those with employees with agent ids, authorized to be in limited access areas of dispensaries will now be forbidden from dispensing any product outside of the dispensary sales floor.