If you are a Missouri resident and require a medical marijuana card, then 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.
Amendment 2 was the culmination of a softening of cannabis laws in Missouri.
In 2014, Senate Bill 491 reduced penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana. The state has come a long way in a short time. 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, the hope is that qualifying patients can finally purchase MMJ in Missouri by the middle of 2020. The Missouri Department of Health (DOH) permitted applications for the program in July 2019. By February 2020, over 22,000 residents had joined!
If you want to learn more about the MMJ program in Missouri, this guide is for you. We give you a step-by-step guide to applying for the card and answer a few FAQs on the program in general.
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How to Get a Medical Marijuana in Missouri
By the time it is possible to buy MMJ in Missouri, at least 18 months will have passed since the vote on Amendment 2. However, the DOH has worked hard to ensure the program is workable from the outset. 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 those who are at least 18 years of age and a resident of Missouri are eligible. You must also have a ‘qualifying condition,’ a list of which we outline below. Applicants under the age of 18 can qualify if they are ‘emancipated’ or have a parent or legal guardian to act as a caregiver.
Overall, it seems as if you can apply for MMJ in Missouri in three simple steps.
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. The wait for Missouri residents doubtless seems interminable. However, the DOH has clearly outlined the steps you must take.
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 dosage. 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 brand 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 Complia Application 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 into the Complia Portal, click ‘Create Application’ and ‘New Patient Registration.’ The DOH will complete its evaluation within 30 days and processes forms in the order in which it receives them.
The DOH will send you an email 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 to apply for an MMJ card in Missouri. It is valid for a year, and the renewal fee also costs $25, the same as the primary caregiver fee. If you wish to grow cannabis, you must pay an extra $100. The average price for a consultation in Missouri is between $150 and $200. NuggMD offers its service for $139 at the time of writing.
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.
Other Information on the Missouri Medical Marijuana License Process
Although the program hasn’t formally begun, we are fortunately able to provide you with additional useful information.
How Much Can I Purchase & Possess?
The Missouri MMJ program allows patients to purchase and possess up to four ounces and eight grams of cannabis concentrate. This is the permissible limit for 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 in terms of the ‘type’ of cannabis used.
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. The first dispensaries will likely open by mid-2020 when the program officially begins. We are not sure which dispensaries will be ready for opening at that time, however.
Can I Grow Cannabis at Home?
Yes. However, you must complete a separate application form and pay an additional $100. The limit is six flowering plants, six males, and six clones grown from clippings. This means a total of 18 plants.
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.’ Caregivers pay a fee of $25 and are only eligible if 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 $100 fee if they intend to grow marijuana. By the way, application for cultivation means agreeing to allow the DOH to inspect the grow area whenever they choose.
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 avoid arrest if you have an MMJ card from another state and stay within Missouri law.
[Have any additional questions about medical marijuana in Missouri? Feel free to reach out to state officials at firstname.lastname@example.org]
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