Despite small steps to reduce penalties for possession of recreational marijuana and making some medical cannabis available to select patients, Missouri remains one of the most restrictive states when it comes to cannabis policy.
Recreational Marijuana in Missouri
Lawmakers in 2014 enacted Senate Bill 491 to reduce penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana. The law, which didn’t take effect until January 1, 2017, makes the first offense punishable as an infraction (class D misdemeanor) carrying a fine of $250 to $1,000. Possession of 10 grams to up to 35 grams is a class A misdemeanor, but punishable to up to 1 year in prison and a maximum fine of $2,000. Possession of over 35 grams, or 1.25 ounces, is a felony, punishable to up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Medical Marijuana in Missouri
Unfortunately, the conservative southern state of Missouri has yet to pass comprehensive medical marijuana legislation. In 2014, the state did pass a medicinal cannabidiol (CBD) law, which gives approved patients with intractable epilepsy access to CBD hemp oil, but is still very limiting for several reasons, including:
- A provision that requires patients to have attempted at least three other treatments without response before using cannabis oil.
- A provision that limits the cannabis oil composition to at least 5% CBD and less than 0.3% THC
- A provision that limits approved conditions to only intractable epilepsy, which provide relief for this segment, but leaves many other people with serious maladies without access to cannabis.
A proposed amendment to allow full medical marijuana in Missouri failed to acquire the required number of valid signatures to be included on the November 2016 ballot.
CBD from Hemp Oil in Missouri
The purchase and use of CBD hemp oil without a prescription is federally legal throughout the U.S. However, because Missouri has passed a CBD hemp oil-specific law, the people of Missouri are only legally protected if they access CBD hemp oil through the state’s medical program.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Missouri
Cultivating marijuana for personal or medicinal use is prohibited in Missouri. However, in 2014, the Missouri Legislature passed House Bill 2238, which gives the Department of Agriculture the authority to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. House Bill 2054 also passed, stating that industrial hemp is not a controlled substance, and it is legal for all persons to cultivate hemp as long as they have not been convicted of a drug-related offense.
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