Know before you go: Visiting a Missouri marijuana dispensary for the first time
If you’re visiting a marijuana dispensary in Missouri for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind. In Missouri, individuals aged 21+ may purchase up to three ounces of marijuana flower or its equivalent in other forms such as edibles and concentrates per visit.
Before visiting, it’s important to understand the laws regarding recreational cannabis as well as what to expect from your experience.
When you arrive at the dispensary, you will be asked to present a valid government ID. Once inside, you’ll have access to a wide variety of marijuana products like flower, edibles, concentrates, vapes, topicals, and more.
There may be a wait
Many who visit a dispensary for the first time may experience a wait. But in most cases this means time to peruse the online menu. The product inventory at many dispensaries is extensive and often much of what is in stock is not visible on the sales floor. The waiting room is a great place to figure out a shopping list and prepare a few questions.
The retail employees inside are commonly referred to as budtenders, think of them as a concierge at a hotel – they’re there to answer questions and help provide you with the best experience based on your tastes. Let them know what type of experience you’re looking for, what your preferred consumption method is, and ask about popular products or their preferences when you have questions about different brands.
Bring cash, just in case
While many dispensaries have the ability to process card transactions, changes in payment processing and outage have become more frequent over the last year. Be prepared to pay in cash on your first visit, just in case your local dispensary doesn’t have an atm or offer card processing.
How much can you buy?
For adult use consumers, purchases and possession are limited to put to 3 ounces at a time.
Missouri regulations dictate that 3.5 grams of flower, an eighth, 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 and possess 24 units at a time.
For medical marijuana patients, the standard possession and purchase limit is 6 ounces or 48 units.
Is there any benefit to being a medical marijuana patient?
Missouri offers patient reciprocity for out-of-state patients, as well as allowing for non-resident patients to obtain a medical marijuana card.
Many dispensaries offer an expedited wait for medical patients. Additionally, 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. For many visitors who purchase at or near their adult use purchase limit of 3 ounces in a visit, the cost of a medical card for three years is easily offset by the tax difference within their first few visits.
Medical card holders also have legal protections in the state. 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 is no longer a qualifier for dismissal for medical marijuana users, unfortunately, adult use consumers do not enjoy the same protections.