Missouri regulators finalize proposed rules and submit to SOS
Following a thorough review and under advisement from the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), on Monday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) submitted a revised draft of the proposed rules for marijuana regulation in their final form to the Secretary of State.
Emergency rules are not renewable, as such finalized versions of the proposed rules are set to be implemented effective July 30, 2023.
The rules will be published in the state register on June 15, 2023.
“On Monday, May 8, our Division of Cannabis Regulation presented information and answered questions regarding the program’s proposed rules at a hearing before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Following the hearing, we submitted six amended Orders of Rulemaking, which JCAR accepted. All Orders of Rulemaking and Amended Orders of Rulemaking were filed with the Secretary of State on Monday, May 15, and all rules will be effective on July 30 prior to the expiration of the emergency rules currently in effect. The Amended Orders of Rulemaking include clarifications on the requirements for plain and uniform packaging, licensee sponsorship of events, qualifying zip codes for incarceration rates in microbusiness eligibility, packaging preapproval processes, standards for what is attractive to children in print media advertising, and testing facility staffing requirements,” said Amy Moore, Director of the Division of Cannabis Regulation.
The revised proposed rules take into account feedback gained during the public comment period, as well as feedback from industry participants and the Committee itself during hearings while under review by JCAR.
While many suggestions were taken under advisement, the revisions are said to be a compromise between DCR staff and industry participants, including MoCann Trade during discussions following the hearing.
One member of the Committee told Greenway that the Department was advised to find common ground to answer the call of issues raised by the draft rules as members of the Committe voiced concerns over several aspects of the proposed rules as they were submitted.
One of the highlights of the compromise was changes to the packaging restrictions.
Industry participants had been vocal in their opposition to proposals that would have required only the use of a single color for packaging with only a logo or font to differentiate and a requirement that nearly all text be removed from packaging.
The new rules allow operators to use “limited colors, including a primary color as well as up to two logos or symbols of a different color or colors, whether images or text, including brand, licensee, or company logos, provided that the widest part of a logo or symbol is no wider than the length or height, whichever is greater, of the word “Marijuana” on the packaging.”
Packaging can will still include the product name, the label, and a QR code – but restrictions limiting information on the package have been replaced allowing operators to display “text indicating side effects and behavioral effects of usage.”
The compromised amendments also changed terminology in a rule regarding events. Originally, the rule read: “A licensee that sponsors an event may be subject to the penalties in (A) for any violations of 19 CSR 100-1 that occur at that event,” now, the word sponsors has been replaced with the word organizes, which make a significant difference in how Missouri operators will approach events moving forward.
Read the complete rules below.