If you are a Missouri resident and require a medical marijuana card, this comprehensive guide is for you.
On November 6, 2018, 66% of Missourians said ‘yes’ to Amendment 2. The measure legalized medical marijuana in the state of Missouri. It outlined sale, possession, and cultivation limits, along with a provision to provide a 4% tax. The proceeds of this sales tax are set aside for services to provide for military veterans.
The state has come a long way in a short time. In 2014, Senate Bill 491 reduced penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana. Moreover, in July 2014, a ‘Medical Marijuana Bill’ only permitted CBD oil for patients with persistent seizures.
As is typically the case, the process of voting for an MMJ program and its implementation has taken a while. However, by February 2020, over 22,000 residents had joined! Eight months later, medical cannabis was finally available for sale in the state.
If you want to learn more about the MMJ program in Missouri, this guide is for you. We give you step-by-step instructions to apply for the card and answer a few FAQs on the program in general. However, we first look at the state’s cannabis laws.
State Laws: Why You Need a Missouri Medical Marijuana Card
It is important to remember that MMJ sales in Missouri only began in October 2020. The state had decriminalized the possession of a small amount of cannabis via Senate Bill 491 in May 2014. However, the law didn’t take effect until January 2017. It ensures that you won’t face jail time for the possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana.
However, it is still a minor misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500. Moreover, a second offense could result in a prison term of up to one year. If you’re caught with over 35 grams, you face a felony charge and could spend up to seven years in jail!
The sale of any amount of cannabis without the requisite license is also a felony with a maximum incarceration period of four years. Also, growing cannabis remains illegal without an MMJ card, and the punishment for growing any number of plants is the same as for selling the substance.
There is a push towards full legalization, with activists hoping to get a recreational cannabis bill on the ballot for November 2022. However, at present, only MMJ patients in Missouri can legally purchase cannabis. The state’s Department of Health (DOH) finally allowed medical marijuana sales, so find out how to get your card below.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana in Missouri
The DOH worked hard to ensure the program was workable from the outset. MMJ sales finally began in October 2020. Patients can apply online and also use a service such as NuggMD to complete evaluations.
Incidentally, you need one of the following forms of identification to prove your state residency:
- A valid Missouri driver’s license
- A valid Missouri I.D. card
- A current Missouri motor vehicle registration
- A recent Missouri utility bill
Before reading any further, please note that only Missouri residents at least 18 years of age are eligible. You must also have a ‘qualifying condition,’ a list of which we outline below. Applicants under 18 can qualify if they are ‘emancipated’ or have a parent or legal guardian to act as a caregiver.
You can apply for MMJ in Missouri in three simple steps, and it becomes even easier if you use a service like NuggMD.
Step 1 – Complete the Physician Certification Form
When MMJ is newly legalized in a state, it can take years for a program to get off the ground. However, the Missouri DOH has clearly outlined the steps you must take and did its best to get things moving quickly.
First and foremost, schedule an evaluation with an MD or DO in ‘good standing’ in Missouri. During the consultation, the physician will look at your medical records and ask some questions. The goal is to ensure you are a viable candidate for MMJ.
In most cases, you need the Standard Physician Certification Form. However, applicants seeking a higher monthly dosage must fill in the Alternative Physician Certification Form. Indeed, they must submit two of these forms, completed by two different doctors. If the physicians recommend a different limit on the forms, you are entitled to the lower of the two dosages. Minors must fill in a Parent/Legal Guardian Consent Form.
In case you are interested, providers like NuggMD can help with an all-in-one service. The doctors at NuggMD are licensed in Missouri and are permitted to provide consultations. The process is as follows:
- Create an account with NuggMD for the state of Missouri.
- Complete the requisite documentation and make sure you provide your medical records.
- Participate in an online consultation.
- If you are approved, you receive your doctor’s recommendation via email within 48 hours. Then you can proceed to Step 2. The company claims you could get your doctor’s approval within 15 minutes.
Step 2 – Register for the Program Online
Fortunately, you can register online via the Registry Portal. Next, choose the ‘Patient/Caregiver Application Registration’ box. You will likely get a warning telling you that you are going off the main website. Click ‘yes’ to give permission, and you will end up on the registry. Please note that the DOH only accepts completed applications sent via the registry.
Step 3 – Complete Your Application
You are required to apply within 30 days of receiving your physician’s recommendation. Log in to the Registry Portal, click ‘Create Application’ and ‘New Patient Registration.’ The DOH will complete its evaluation within 30 days and process forms in the order it receives them.
The DOH will email you requesting corrections if it believes you have not completed the form properly. You have ten days to make the changes, or your application gets rejected. Upon approval, you will receive an email with a patient ID that you can print out. This is the only proof you need because the Missouri MMJ program doesn’t issue physical cards.
What Are the Missouri Medical Card Costs?
It costs $25.94 to apply for an MMJ card in Missouri, and caregivers pay the same fee. The card is valid for a year, and the renewal fee is also $25.94. If you wish to grow cannabis, you must pay an extra $103.73. The average price for a consultation in Missouri is between $150 and $200. NuggMD generally offers its service for $139, although it occasionally has a special offer price of $99.
What Conditions Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri?
The qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Missouri include:
- Intractable migraines (that do not respond to other treatment)
- Severe or persistent pain/muscle spasms (including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome)
- Psychiatric disorders (including but not limited to PTSD)
- A chronic medical condition typically treated with prescription medication that could lead to physical or psychological dependence. This is when a physician determines that MMJ is potentially useful in treating that condition. They must also suggest it serves as a safer alternative to a prescription drug.
- Any terminal illness
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Sickle cell anemia
- Alzheimer’s disease agitation
- Cachexia and wasting syndrome
- In a doctor’s professional judgment, any chronic, debilitating, or other medical condition, including hepatitis C
In many ways, Missouri residents are fortunate. There were a pair of alternative options to Amendment 2. Had either passed, they would have severely limited the list of qualifying conditions.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Medical Card in Missouri?
First of all, please ensure you are a Missouri resident eligible to receive medical marijuana. From there, it is a matter of how long it takes you to book a consultation and receive approval. Once you submit a completed application, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) aims to process it within 30 days. However, you may receive your card in as little as two weeks.
How to Renew a Missouri Medical Marijuana Card
It is recommended that you begin the renewal process once your card’s expiration date is less than 60 days away. In general, you should apply at least 30 days before your card expires to give the DHSS enough time to process it.
You’ll find that the entire process should take a maximum of 20 minutes once you log into the DHSS website. Click on the ‘Patient/Caregiver Application Registration’ tab, and you’ll be redirected to the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) Registry Portal.
Enter your username and password. Next, click on ‘Create New Application,’ ‘Patient,’ ‘Patient Renewal,’ and ‘Create Application.’ Select your patient license number and ensure your information is up to date. The next step is to click on ‘Physician Information’ and change the certification type from manual to electronic. You’ll also have the option to grow cannabis if you don’t already have that allowance.
At this stage, you have to upload the documents that prove you’re a Missouri resident, including proof of address and a photo ID. Pay the renewal fee and the additional payment if you plan to grow marijuana at home. Please remember that the state only issues its MMJ cards digitally.
Other Information on the Missouri Medical Marijuana License Process
Now that the MMJ sales have begun, it is easier to provide you with additional information.
How Much Cannabis Can I Purchase & Possess?
The Missouri MMJ program allows patients to purchase and possess up to four ounces of dried, unprocessed marijuana every 30 days. This is classified as the equivalent of 32 Missouri Marijuana Equivalency (MME) units each month. The state says that a single MME equates to 1 gram of THC concentrate or 100mg of a THC-infused product. Therefore, you can purchase 32 grams of cannabis concentrate or 3,200mg of THC-infused products every 30 days.
You can apply for a larger dose by completing a particular form, as we explained above. The good news is that the program hasn’t mentioned any restrictions on the ‘type’ of cannabis used.
Qualified patients who are not cultivating cannabis can have a maximum of a 60-day supply. You can have a maximum of a 90-day supply if you grow marijuana for medical use or your primary caregiver is cultivating it on your behalf. Please note that the cannabis grown must remain on private property under the control of the patient or caregiver.
Where Can I Purchase MMJ in Missouri?
The DOH has awarded an impressive 192 licenses to dispensaries. There will be 24 dispensaries in each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts. The above is the minimum number. There is every possibility of further dispensaries should the demand warrant it.
At present, there are over 140 open dispensaries already, with dozens more likely to begin sales within the next year.
Can I Get My Missouri Medical Marijuana Card Online?
Yes. In fact, the ONLY way you can get a Missouri MMJ card is online. You have to apply via the MMMP Registry Portal and wait for the DOH to issue your MMJ card. Furthermore, you receive an I.D. number that you print out rather than receiving a card through the mail. An even quicker way to apply for an MMJ card is through a company like NuggMD. However, you may still need to wait up to 30 days once you apply via the portal.
Can I Grow Cannabis at Home?
Yes. However, you must complete a separate application form and pay an additional $103.73. The limit is six flowering plants, six non-flowering plants (under 14 inches tall), and six clones grown from clippings. This means a total of 18 plants.
Two qualifying patients with valid MMJ cards can grow up to 12 flowering plants, 12 non-flowering plants, and 12 clones in a single, enclosed, locked facility. If one of the patients is also a caregiver for another MMJ patient, they can add six flowering plants, six non-flowering plants, and six clones for a total of 18 of each plant. In these scenarios, the cannabis can’t leave the property where it is grown.
Please note that you must provide the address of your cannabis garden on your application. You also agree to allow the DHSS to inspect your garden.
Can I Assign a Caregiver?
Yes, and a caregiver is mandatory for minors unless they are emancipated. They must complete a Patient Authorization Form with the patient’s license number. The patient receives that number when their application is approved, and it begins with the letters ‘PAT.’ Patients are permitted to designate up to two caregivers. Caregivers pay a fee of $25.94 and are only eligible if they are a resident of Missouri and aged 21+.
It is only legal to become a caregiver to a maximum of three patients in Missouri. They also pay the $103.73 fee if they intend to grow marijuana on a patient’s behalf.
Where Can I Consume Marijuana in Missouri?
If you are an MMJ patient, you are still not allowed to consume cannabis in any public place. You can only use it at home or in a private residence. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. If caught, you can expect a similar punishment to DUI, where alcohol is involved.
Can I Use Cannabis in Another State?
Legal experts in Missouri suggest that Amendment 2 does permit out-of-state reciprocity of MMJ cards. Subsection 5(1) of the Amendment, on page 10, says:
“Production of the respective equivalent identification card or authorization issued by another state or political subdivision of another state shall also meet the requirements of this subdivision.”
Therefore, you should theoretically avoid arrest if you have an MMJ card from another state and stay within Missouri law.
However, the official Missouri MMJ website says that there is no reciprocity between the state’s program and other state medical marijuana programs. Therefore, you are NOT automatically entitled to get an MMJ card or buy cannabis in Missouri if you have a medical marijuana card in another state.
It seems as if you won’t get arrested for possession of cannabis within Missouri’s legal limits if you have an MMJ card from another state. Yet, we recommend avoiding the purchase of MMJ in Missouri unless you have the state’s medical marijuana card. Remember, you could face a felony charge for the possession of over 35 grams.
Final Thoughts on Getting a Missouri Medical Marijuana Card
Missouri legalized MMJ in November 2018, but it took almost two years for sales to begin. However, the state is making up for lost time, with new dispensaries seemingly opening every week. There is a possibility that the state might legalize adult-use cannabis in November 2022. However, until then, it is best to apply for a Missouri MMJ card. The process is straightforward, affordable, and can protect you from legal issues.
[Have any additional questions about medical marijuana in Missouri? Feel free to reach out to state officials at email@example.com]
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