Missouri publishes final draft of medical cannabis regulations

Dispensaries will start selling medicinal cannabis products in Missouri from January 2020

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Missouri publishes final draft of medical cannabis regulations

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Finally, Missouri has posted its final rules on medical cannabis. The regulations were effectuated on June 3. Published on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ official website at the end of May, the final version of Missouri’s medical cannabis rules have been long-awaited by the patient community.

Spokeswoman Lisa Cox revealed how the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) received feedback in the form of more than 500 comments after the rules were published.

Weed was decriminalized In Missouri back in 2014. The state’s medical cannabis market is still fairly new, with voters approving Amendment 2 on November 6, 2018. Now that the regulations have been straightened out, state-licensed physicians can soon start prescribing pharmaceutical-grade cannabis to patients who qualify.

When will medical cannabis be available, you ask? Not until the Department opens up the application process for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and retail facilities, such as dispensaries. This is expected to happen on August 3. Dispensaries will start selling medicinal cannabis products – e.g. oils, capsules, supplements and flower – from the beginning of next year.

Overview of Missouri’s final medical cannabis rules

Based on the details of Missouri’s medical cannabis regulations, patients must first consult with a physician who has been licensed by the state. This is absolutely imperative and cannot be sidestepped with a trip to a local healthcare practitioner or a nurse. Qualifying conditions to receive medical cannabis in Missouri include chronic medical conditions, terminal illness, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, migraine, psychiatric disorders, and immunodeficiency disorders. Once the patient has a recommendation, he or she must submit an application for a medical cannabis card.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will issue cards to those who meet the eligibility criteria. State-licensed dispensaries will request to see a patient’s medical cannabis identification card before they can purchase their medication. The Department will start accepting applications from July 4.

Patients with out-of-state medical cannabis certification cannot legally possess pot in Missouri

Individuals who live out of state will not be able to obtain medical cannabis with a physician certification during a visit to Missouri, say state officials. The reason being that although cannabis possession will be legalized, consumers won’t have anywhere to purchase pharmaceutical-grade weed from.

Although state-licensed physicians will be legally allowed to prescribe medical cannabis, dispensaries won’t be opening their doors just yet. A few things must be straightened out before this can happen, such as the issuing of medical cannabis patient identification cards and cultivation identification cards.

The State of Missouri must approve a minimum of 60 commercial cannabis cultivators, as well as 24 dispensaries for all eight congressional districts. Licenses will be distributed amongst 192 medical cannabis dispensaries, which will stock cannabis-infused products manufactured inside 86 facilities.