What to know about buying recreational marijuana in Missouri

MEG CUNNINGHAM, Missouri Independent

This story was originally published by the Kansas City Beacon.

On Nov. 8, Missourians voted “yes” on Amendment 3, which legalized recreational use of marijuana, meaning you’ll now be able to buy weed, like marijuana flower or edibles, in the coming months.

Starting Dec. 8, the state will begin transitioning its medical marijuana licenses to recreational licenses, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to walk into a dispensary and buy cannabis flower right away. The transition process will take until February, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the agency that manages the state’s marijuana industry.

The transition process can get complicated, so The Beacon compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the process. This page will continue to be updated as the state rolls out program changes, so be sure to check back for the latest updates.

The state is accepting public feedback on the rules for the recreational program until Nov. 25.

Q: When can I buy legal weed in Missouri?

A: Recreational marijuana should be available by early February 2023. The DHSS will start accepting requests to transition medical facility licenses to full recreational facilities on Dec. 8, and it will have 60 days to approve those changed license requests.

You’ll be able to walk into a dispensary with your ID (to prove you are over 21) and leave with cannabis flower, edibles, prerolls or vapes.

Q: How much marijuana can I have?

A: Amendment 3’s language allows for consumers to have 3 ounces of dried marijuana flower or its equivalent.

Q: Will I be able to grow my own at home?

A: Yes. Under Missouri’s medical marijuana law that passed in 2018, Missourians were granted the ability to grow their own cannabis at home if they registered as a patient cultivator.

DHSS will start accepting applications for personal cultivation for recreation as soon as Feb. 6. Once applications are accepted, Missourians 21 and older can cultivate marijuana for personal, noncommercial use at an enclosed and locked facility at their homes. Those licenses cost $150 and are valid for three years.

Missourians will be allowed to have six flowering plants and up to 18 non-mature plants.

Q: Am I allowed to smoke marijuana in public?

A: Unless there is a dedicated smoking area for public consumption of marijuana, smoking in public could still make you subject to a civil penalty and a fine of up to $100.

Q: Do I still need my medical marijuana card if I don’t use cannabis recreationally?

A: No, you don’t need to keep your medical marijuana card, but you can. As of Dec. 8 of this year, all approved medical marijuana cards will be valid for three years. Current medical cardholders will stick to their existing expiration dates. Cards are valid for three years upon the card’s next renewal.

Q: Do I still need to renew my medical card to keep patient status?

A: Yes, you’ll have to get approval from your physician to submit a patient renewal application. But under the new law, you’ll only have to get your card renewed every three years, instead of every year as the law currently stands.

Q: Do I need a patient card if I am going to grow for myself at home for medicinal purposes?

A: Yes, you’ll need a medical marijuana card if you’d like to become a patient cultivator for yourself at home.

Q: Are there fees I should know about?

A: Yes, if you’re still a medical marijuana cardholder or caregiver, renewal and application fees are $27.76 each, but will only need to be renewed every three years. If you’re a patient cultivator, new application and renewal fees are $110.99.

The Kansas City Beacon is an online news outlet focused on local, in-depth journalism in the public interest.

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