Since Missouri started giving out marijuana licenses in January 2020, there has been a lot of competition. Only 192 of the 1,200 people who applied for pharmacy licenses were chosen.
Recently, the state made weed legal for adults, which means that anyone over the age of 21 can legally buy cannabis.
For now, Missouri’s program for adults who want to use cannabis is based on planned rules that will become law in August 2023.
Until the state officially adopts the suggested rules, this post will only talk about medical cannabis laws in Missouri. But the most significant changes for shops that sell cannabis for recreational use will be explained next.
Overview Of Adult-use Cannabis Laws For Missouri Dispensaries
A ballot initiative to legalize recreational cannabis use passed in November of 2022. Cannabis possession for adults 21 and over became legal in December of the same year. Legal adult-use cannabis sales begin in February 2023.
The key changes that dispensaries must note when switching from a medical license to a comprehensive facility are:
- Adult-use purchase limits are 3 ounces per transaction.
- Adult-use purchases will be taxed at 6% in addition to any local taxes.
- Recreational licenses will be the same as medical licenses.
- Medical and recreational customers will be able to purchase the same inventory.
- Consumers will be required to present a valid government-issued photo ID when purchasing adult-use cannabis products at a dispensary.
- Current employees under the age of 21 may continue working at any licensed cannabis facility, but after February 3, 2023, all new facility agents must be 21 or older.
Additional information about the transition to adult-use sales includes:
- No new medical or comprehensive license applications will be accepted for the time being.
- Applications for conversion will be accepted beginning December 8, 2022. Information on the application process is found here.
- After February 6, 2023, adults 21 and over can legally cultivate cannabis plants for personal, non-commercial use within an enclosed locked facility.
Learn more about Missouri’s transition to adult-use cannabis at the state website.
Missouri Medical Cannabis Laws At A Glance
- Licensed dispensaries can sell marijuana and marijuana-infused products, including flower, concentrates, and edibles to licensed patients and may sell plants, seeds, and clones to qualifying patients who are authorized to cultivate medical marijuana.
- Medical marijuana is subject to a specific 4% state tax in addition to any sales taxes.
- The regulatory body for Missouri’s medical marijuana industry is the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).
- Persons under the age of 18 can receive a medical marijuana license through a primary caregiver with the consent of a parent or legal guardian who will act as the primary caregiver.
- Medical marijuana patients can purchase a maximum of 4oz of flower or its equivalent per 30-day period.
- Dispensaries must use state-approved seed-to-sale tracking software to manage inventory and report sales to Metrc.
- All parts of the supply chain are licensed, including cultivators, testing labs, manufacturing facilities, transporters, and dispensaries.
Law #1: Managing inventory
Law: (G) All cultivation, infused products manufacturing, dispensary, testing, and transportation facilities shall implement inventory control systems and procedures as follows: 1. Each facility shall designate in writing a facility agent who is generally responsible for the inventory control systems and procedures for that facility; 2. All weighing and measuring of medical marijuana required by this rule must be conducted with a National Type Evaluation Program approved scale, which shall be capable of weighing and measuring accurately at all times and recalibrated at least yearly; 3. Each facility shall use a department-certified seed-to-sale tracking system to track medical marijuana from seed or immature plant stage until the medical marijuana is purchased by a qualifying patient or primary caregiver or destroyed. Records entered into the seed-to-sale tracking system must include each day’s beginning inventory, harvests, acquisitions, sales, disbursements, remediations, disposals, transfers, ending inventory, and any other data necessary for inventory control records in the statewide track and trace system;
5. Each dispensary facility shall be responsible for ensuring that every amount of medical marijuana sold or disbursed to a qualifying patient or primary caregiver is recorded in the seed-to-sale tracking system as a purchase by or on behalf of the applicable qualifying patient.
Explained: Here are the basics of compliantly managing inventory:
1. You must designate someone at your dispensary to oversee inventory.
2. Final oversight and auditing powers go to the Missouri DHSS.
3. Dispensaries must use a National Type Evaluation Program approved scale, to be calibrated at least annually.
Tracking of inventory, from seed to sale, must happen within a state-approved software. You must also make sure that every amount of medical marijuana disbursed (or sold) to licensed patients is recorded. .
Missouri uses Metrc as its track-and-trace system. Dispensaries are required to push every check in and transaction to Metrc in real time.
Law #2: Dispensary licensing
Law: (1) Access to Dispensary Facility Licenses. (A) The number of dispensary facility licenses will be limited to one hundred ninety-two (192) unless the department determines the limit must be increased in order to meet the demand for medical marijuana by qualifying patients. (B) Dispensary facility licenses will be limited to twenty-four (24) in each of the eight (8) United States congressional districts in the state of Missouri as drawn and in effect on December 6, 2018. (C) A facility license will be issued for a single facility in a single location.
4. If a facility is granted a license or certification but has not passed a commencement inspection within one (1) year of the department issuing the license or certification, the license or certification may be revoked.
(G) Cultivation, infused product manufacturing, and dispensary licenses and testing and transportation certifications are valid for three (3) years from the date the license or certification is issued and shall, except for good cause, be renewable by submitting, prior to expiration by at least one hundred fifty (150) days but no sooner than two hundred fifty (250) days, an updated application. (H) The department shall charge an application or renewal fee for a facility license or certification and also an annual fee once a license or certification is granted.
Explained: Any facility cultivating, manufacturing, selling, transporting, testing, or otherwise working with medical marijuana must be licensed.
An important note is that the regulations specify awarding only 192 dispensary licenses in Missouri. This means all the available licenses have been awarded.
Here’s the process of applying for a dispensary license in Missouri:
- A $6,000 non-refundable fee is required to apply for a dispensary license up until 12/26/2021, after that date, it will be $3,000.
- Dispensaries must pay a $10,373.22 annual fee for their dispensary license. The Missouri DHSS is responsible for reviewing and approving dispensary licenses.
- “Any entity under substantially common control, ownership, or management” can be issued up to 5 dispensary licenses, 3 cultivation licenses, or 3 manufacturing licenses.
Basic Facility License Applicant Requirements:
- Proof of Missouri residency for at least 1 year.
- Entities must be majority-owned by natural persons who’ve been citizens of Missouri for at least 1 year and don’t claim residency in any other state or country.*
- Facilities can’t be owned by or employ those with disqualifying felony offenses.
- All principal officers, owners, and managers must undergo a criminal background check by the Missouri State Highway Patrol within 6 months of applying
*This requirement is currently barred from being enforced under a preliminary injunction in Togio v. DHSS.
Definition to know: “Majority owned” means more than 50% of the economic interests and more than 50% of the voting interests of an entity.
This law also outlines details of note for current license-holders:
- You must pass your commencement inspection within 1 year of being issued the license, or your license may be revoked.
- Your license is valid for 3 years from the date it was issued. You will need to renew by submitting an updated application between 150-250 days prior to expiration. Renewal fees will apply.
Note: Licensed Facilities can’t be located within 1,000 feet of any elementary or secondary school, daycare, or church. The measurement is the shortest path between the two locations as lawfully traveled by foot. Local rules and regulations can allow for this distance to be smaller than 1000 feet.
Law #3: Penalties And Fines
Law: (5) The department will impose penalties as follows: (A) For possessing marijuana in amounts between the possessor’s legal limit and twice the possessor’s legal limit, in addition to revocation of identification card(s) pursuant to 19 CSR 30-95.030(3)(B)1.D., the possessor will incur a penalty of two hundred dollars ($200); (B) For failure to package medical marijuana consistent with 19 CSR 30- 95.040(4)(K), a facility will incur a penalty of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each category of improperly packaged product, and the improperly packaged medical marijuana will be recalled for repackaging or disposal, at the department’s discretion; and (C) Any person or facility that extracts resins from marijuana using combustible gases or other dangerous materials without a manufacturing facility license, shall incur a penalty.
1. In addition to revocation of identification cards pursuant to 19 CSR 30- 95.030(3)(B)1.I., any patients or primary caregivers who extract resins in this manner will incur a penalty of one thousand dollars ($1000).
2. In addition to suspension of license, pursuant to 19 CSR 30-95.040(1)(F)7., facilities that extract resins in this manner will incur a penalty of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Explained: Simply put, Missouri regulations prohibit the following:
- A patient’s med card will be revoked and they will be fined $200 if they are caught with between 4-8 oz of marijuana.
- There’s a $5,000 fine for improperly packaged products, and the products could be recalled for repacking or disposal.
- If a patient is caught extracting resins without an MIP license, they’ll be fined $1,000 and their med card will be revoked.
- Licensed Facilities that do not possess a MIP license will be fined $10,000 for extracting resins from marijuana using combustible gases or other dangerous materials.
- Possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana or synthetic marijuana by a non-patient is punishable by a $500 fine, however, prior offenders of controlled substance laws may face higher fines and possible jail time.
Law #4: Purchase And Possession Limits
Law: (5) Purchase and Possession Limitations. (A) Qualifying patients may only purchase, or have purchased on their behalf by their primary caregivers, four (4) ounces of dried, unprocessed marijuana per qualifying patient, or its equivalent, in a thirty- (30-)day period. (B) Qualifying patients may only possess, or instruct a primary caregiver to possess on their behalf— 1. In the case of qualifying patients who do not cultivate or have medical marijuana cultivated on their behalf, up to a sixty- (60-) day supply of dried, unprocessed marijuana per qualifying patient, or its equivalent; or 2. In the case of qualifying patients who are cultivating marijuana for medical use or whose primary caregivers are cultivating marijuana on their behalf, up to a ninety- (90-) day supply of dried, unprocessed marijuana or its equivalent, so long as the supply of medical marijuana cultivated by the qualifying patients or primary caregivers remains on property under their control. (C) All medical marijuana purchased from a dispensary must be stored in or with its original packaging. (D) Primary caregivers may possess a separate legal limit for each qualifying patient under their care and a separate legal limit for themselves if they are a qualifying patient, each of which shall be stored separately for each qualifying patient and labeled with the qualifying patient’s name. (E) Purchase and possession limits established in this section shall not apply to a qualifying patient with written certification from two (2) independent physicians that there are compelling reasons why the qualifying patient needs a greater amount than the limits established in this section.
Explained: Qualifying patients and primary caregivers may purchase medical marijuana and medical marijuana-infused products. Qualifying patients who are authorized to cultivate medical marijuana may also purchase plants, seeds, and clones.
Other points of note:
- Patients can exceed the purchase limits if they receive approval from two physicians.
- Patients can’t purchase seeds or clones if they aren’t “authorized to cultivate.”
Medical patients can have in their possession:
- Up to 6 flowering marijuana plants
- Up to a 90-day supply (12 ounces or 339 grams) of dried, unprocessed marijuana or equivalent if cultivating
- Up to a 60-day supply (8 ounces or 226 grams) of unprocessed marijuana or equivalent if not cultivating.
Law #5: Patients And Caregivers
Law: (2) Identification Card Applications. Qualifying patients and primary caregivers shall obtain identification cards from the department, which will include unique, identifying numbers for each patient and each caregiver-patient relationship. A qualifying patient or his or her primary caregivers may also obtain an identification card to cultivate up to six (6) flowering marijuana plants for the exclusive use of that qualifying patient. The department will receive applications for qualifying patients, primary caregivers, and patient cultivation electronically through a department-provided, web-based application system. (A) All applications for qualifying patient identification cards and renewal of such identification cards shall include at least the following information: 1. The qualifying patient’s name, date of birth, and Social Security number; 2. The qualifying patient’s residence address and mailing address or, if the qualifying patient has no residence or mailing address, an address where the qualifying patient can receive mail; 3. A statement that the qualifying patient resides in Missouri and does not claim resident privileges in another state or country, as well as proof of current Missouri residency, which shall be shown by— A. A copy of a valid Missouri driver’s license, a Missouri Identification Card, a current Missouri motor vehicle registration, or a recent Missouri utility bill; or B. If none of these proofs are avail- able, some other evidence of residence in Missouri, which shall be approved or denied by the director of the medical marijuana program as sufficient proof of residency; 4. The qualifying patient’s e-mail address; 5. A statement confirming that— A. One (1) physician certification, which is less than thirty (30) days old, has been submitted on behalf of the qualifying patient; or B. Two (2) physician certifications, which are less than thirty (30) days old, have been submitted on behalf of the qualifying patient in order to authorize possession limits other than those established by section (5) of this rule; 6. A legible copy of the qualifying patient’s photo identification issued by a state or federal government entity; 7. If the qualifying patient is a non-emancipated qualifying patient, the name, Social Security number, and a Parental/Legal Guardian Consent Form, included herein, completed by a parent or legal guardian who will serve as primary caregiver for the qualifying patient; 8. A clear, color photo of the applicant’s face taken within the prior three (3) months; 9. At the option of the applicant, a statement indicating whether the applicant is currently receiving assistance from any Missouri programs for low-income individuals, and if so, which programs; 10. If the patient is seeking authority to cultivate medical marijuana— A. The address of the facility in which the qualifying patient will cultivate marijuana; B. A description of the security arrangements and processes that will be used to restrict access to only qualifying patients and their primary caregivers; C. The name and Patient License Number or Caregiver License Number, if applicable, of one (1) other qualifying patient. 11. An attestation that the information provided in the application is true and correct; 12. The signature of the qualifying patient and date the qualifying patient signed, or, in the case of a non-emancipated qualifying patient, the signature of the parent or legal guardian who will serve as primary caregiver for the qualifying patient and the date the parent or legal guardian signed; and 13. All applicable fees.
One (1) qualifying patient may cultivate up to six (6) flowering marijuana plants, six (6) nonflowering marijuana plants (over fourteen (14) inches tall), and six (6) clones (plants under fourteen (14) inches tall) at any given time in a single, enclosed locked facility.
Explained: Patients over the age of 18 or primary caregivers, or patients under 18 who have an ID issued by the Missouri DHSS, can purchase medical marijuana.
- Patients and caregivers must apply via the DHSS within 30 days of physician certification.
- Patient or primary caregiver ID cards cost $25 and are valid for 1 year.
Qualifying Conditions For Receiving A Medical Marijuana License:
- Intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment
- A chronic medical condition that causes severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome
- Debilitating psychiatric disorders, including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress order, if diagnosed by a state licensed psychiatrist
- Human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, and wasting syndrome
- A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication that could lead to physical or psychological dependence, when a physician determines that medical use of marijuana could be effective in treating that condition and would serve as a safer alternative to the prescription medication
- A terminal illness
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, and wasting syndrome
- In the professional judgment of a physician, any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition, including, but not limited to, hepatitis C
Patients who wish to cultivate marijuana plants must apply for and receive a qualifying patient cultivation identification card. The cultivation card allows them to grow the following at any given time in a single, enclosed, locked facility
- 6 flowering plants
- 6 non-flowering plants (over 14 inches tall), and
- 6 clones (plants under 14 inches tall)
Law #6: Delivery
Law: (C) Dispensary facilities must, for every transaction— 1. Receive the transaction order at the dispensary directly from the qualifying patient or primary caregiver in person, by phone, or via the internet, and not from a third party; 2. At the time of sale, verify through the statewide track and trace system that the qualifying patient or primary caregiver is currently authorized to purchase the amount of medical marijuana requested and, in the case of a seed purchase, that the patient or primary caregiver is currently authorized to cultivate medical marijuana; 3. In the case of a delivery order, receive payment before the medical marijuana leaves the dispensary, subject to refund if the delivery cannot be completed; and 4. At the time of sale or delivery, require production of a qualifying patient or primary caregiver identification card, a government-issued photo ID, and in the case of medical marijuana seed purchases, a patient cultivation identification card;
Explained: Missouri cannabis law states dispensaries can use the Pizza Truck Model to deliver cannabis, as long as they adhere to these stipulations:
- Payment must be received before cannabis leaves the store.
- The vehicles have to be secure (some retailers hire transporters for delivery transactions).
- You need manifests to have cannabis in a vehicle.
Vehicles can’t be marked in any way that indicates medical marijuana is being transported and must have (see Page 30, 19 CSR 30-95.100.1):
- A secure lockbox or locking cargo area for storing marijuana during transit.
- A secure lockbox for storing payments and video monitoring recording equipment.
- Video monitoring of the driver and passenger compartment of the vehicle as well as any space where medical marijuana is stored.
- GPS tracking.
Law #7: Packaging And Labels
Law: (K) All cultivation, infused products manufacturing, and dispensary facilities shall ensure that all medical marijuana is packaged and labeled in a manner consistent with the following: 1. Facilities shall not manufacture, package, or label marijuana— A. In a false or misleading manner; B. In any manner designed to cause confusion between a marijuana product and any product not containing marijuana; or C. In any manner designed to appeal to a minor;
2. Marijuana and marijuana-infused products shall be sold in containers clearly and conspicuously labeled with: A. “Marijuana” or a “Marijuana-infused Product” in a font size at least as large as the largest other font size used on the package; and B. “Warning: Cognitive and physical impairment may result from the use of Marijuana” in a font no smaller than seven- (7-) point type;
3. Any marijuana or marijuana-infused products packaged for retail sale before delivery to a dispensary must be packaged in opaque, re-sealable packaging designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five (5) years of age to open but not normally difficult for adults to use properly. Any marijuana or marijuana-infused products not packaged for retail sale before delivery to a dispensary must be packaged by the dispensary upon sale to a qualifying patient or primary caregiver in opaque, re-sealable packaging designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five (5) years of age to open but not normally difficult for adults to use properly. All edible marijuana-infused products must be packaged for retail by the infused-products manufacturer before transfer to a dispensary;
4. Marijuana and marijuana-infused products shall bear a label displaying the following information, in the following order: A. The total weight of the marijuana included in the package: (I) For dried, unprocessed marijuana, weight shall be listed in ounces or grams; (II) For concentrates, weight shall be listed in grams; or (III) For infused products, weight shall be listed by milligrams of THC; B. Dosage amounts, instructions for use, and estimated length of time the dosage will have an effect; C. The THC, tetrahydrocannabinol acid, cannabidiol, cannabidiol acid, and cannabinol concentration per dosage; D. All active and inactive ingredients, which shall not include groupings of ingredients that obscure the actual ingredients, such as “proprietary blend” or “spices”; E. In the case of dried, unprocessed marijuana, the name, as recorded with the Missouri Secretary of State, of the cultivating facility from which the marijuana in the package originated and, in the case of infused products, the name of the infused-product manufacturer, as recorded with the Missouri Secretary of State; and F. A “best if used by” date;
5. No branding, artwork, or other information or design elements included on marijuana or marijuana-infused products shall be placed in such a way as to obscure any of the information required by this section;
6. Marijuana and marijuana-infused product packaging shall not include claims of health benefits but may include health warnings; and
7. Marijuana and marijuana-infused products must, at all times, be tagged with traceability information generated by the statewide track and trace system.
Explained: Packaging and label requirements look complex, but essentially:
- Medical marijuana products must be clearly labeled as “Marijuana” or “Marijuana-infused product” in a font as large as the largest other font size on the packaging.
- The warning, “Warning: Cognitive and physical impairment may result from the use of Marijuana” must be included in at least 7-point font.
- Packaging cannot be appealing to a minor.
- Packaging must be opaque, resealable, and difficult for children under 5 to open.
- Packing cannot boast health benefit claims and must list out the required warnings.
- Packaging must be tagged with information from the statewide track and trace system.
Labels Must Include The Following:
- Total weight of the marijuana in the package. For dried marijuana, listed in ounces or grams. For concentrates, listed in grams. And for infused products, listed by milligrams of THC.
- Dosage amounts
- Instructions for use
- Estimated length of time of effects
- Concentration per dose
- All active and inactive ingredients
- For dried marijuana, the name of the cultivating facility, or for infused products, the name of the manufacturer.
- Best if used by date
Law #8: Track-and-trace Systems
Law: (3) Seed-to-Sale Tracking System Requirements. All seed-to-sale tracking systems used by cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary, testing, and transportation facilities shall be capable of— (A) Interfacing with the statewide track and trace system such that a licensed or certificated facility may enter and access information in the statewide track and trace system as required for inventory control and tracking by 19 CSR 30-95.040(4)(G) and for purchase limitations by 19 CSR 30-95.080(2)(C); (B) Providing the department with access to all information stored in the system’s database; (C) Maintaining the confidentiality of all patient data and records accessed or stored by the system such that all persons or entities other than the department may only access the information in the system that they are authorized by law to access; and (D) Producing analytical reports to the department regarding— 1. Total quantity of daily, monthly, and yearly sales at the facility per product type; 2. Average prices of daily, monthly, and yearly sales at the facility per product type; and 3. Total inventory or sales record adjustments at the facility.
(C) Dispensary facilities must, for every transaction— 1. Receive the transaction order at the dispensary directly from the qualifying patient or primary caregiver in person, by phone, or via the internet, and not from a third party; 2. At the time of sale, verify through the statewide track and trace system that the qual- ifying patient or primary caregiver is currently authorized to purchase the amount of medical marijuana requested and, in the case of a seed purchase, that the patient or primary caregiver is currently authorized to cultivate medical marijuana;
Explained: First, you must use Metrc as the state track-and-trace system for Missouri. And second, the software you use to manage inventory in sales in your store — typically your POS — must be state-approved and integrate with Metrc.
- License-holders can only use state-certified trace-and-trace software to manage inventory and report sales.
- All sales must be reported to Metrc in real time, or immediately as the transaction occurs.
- Failure to comply with seed-to-sale tracking requirements by any facility or employee can lead to the facility’s license being revoked.
Missouri Cannabis Laws FAQS
Q. Is Missouri a legal state for marijuana?
Missouri allows both medical and recreational marijuana use. This means that anyone over the age of 21 can legally buy weed.
Q. Who in Missouri can apply for a license to use medical marijuana?
People in Missouri over the age of 18 who have a prescription from a doctor can apply for a medical marijuana patient card. There are some exceptions for people under the age of 18.
Q. How much does Missouri tax medical marijuana?
Missouri taxes weed for adult use at a rate of 6%.