Missouri voters legalized recreational marijuana in a surprising turnout on November 8, 2022. With the passage of Amendment 3 comes sweeping reform for the state – but how will legalization impact medical marijuana (MMJ) in Missouri? Let’s find out. 

recreational marijuana is legal in for adults over 21 medical missouri amendment 3 MMJ
As of November 8, 2022, recreational marijuana is legal in Missouri for adults over 21.

Missouri residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21, with a final vote of 53% in support. The decision on Amendment 3 comes four years after Missouri legalized the use of medical marijuana (MMJ) with 65% of the vote. 

Amendment goes into place on December 8, but it will be some time until people can actually purchase recreational weed from dispensaries.

According to the Kansas City Star, the very earliest that Missourians will be able to buy marijuana products recreationally is Feb. 6, 2023.

The use of cannabis as medicine has increased in the last decade. Proponents of medical cannabis see it as an important harm reduction strategy, and argue that it can function as a qualified substitute for prescription drugs, particularly opioids.

And the big picture is even more impactful on the state’s economy. The Missouri medical marijuana industry has drawn nearly 170,000 registered patients and caregivers while exceeding $200 million in retail sales in 2021.

According to The Kansas City Business Journal, CEOs of local cannabis brands expect recreational marijuana to cultivate new innovations and big opportunities.

Expungements for nonviolent marijuana charges

Amendment 3 contains some considerable equity measures, including automatic expungements for nonviolent marijuana charges.

According to John Payne, a spokesperson for Legal Missouri 2022, cases will be expunged in order of the severity of the case, so less severe cases will be expunged first. This process means that records will be reviewed and expunged by the courts by June 8, 2023.

Protections for family court and workplace

In a major workplace change, drug tests that just show the presence of marijuana in your system cannot be used against you. Family court hearings also can’t use marijuana usage against MMJ patients.

While landlords can restrict whether a patient can smoke on their property, they will not be able to restrict a patient’s ability to otherwise consume or possess marijuana.

How does Amendment 3 impact medical marijuana card holders?

In 2018, Missourians voted to approve the legal sale of medicinal cannabis. In order to purchase legal weed at a dispensary, Missouri residents must apply for and receive a medical marijuana license

Under Missouri’s constitution, residents who have cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, and 20 other conditions, can purchase or cultivate MMJ with a physician’s certification.

In its first full year of operation, Missouri’s cannabis industry accounted for almost one out of every 10 new jobs statewide. These 2021 statistics are from Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association. 

So, now that recreational marijuana will be available for purchase, why would you need a medical marijuana card? As legislation changes around the country, the answer is clear: medical cards benefit patients with security, access, and safety. 

Taxes on medical cannabis will be lower than recreational

Now, in addition to the holistic benefits of medical marijuana, being a patient can also save you money. Sales of recreational marijuana will be taxed at 6%, but medical marijuana will remain at its current 4%.

More options for health professionals that can recommend medical marijuana

In addition to physicians, Amendment 3 also allows nurse practitioners to recommend patients for the medical marijuana program.

greenpass connects you with a physician–founded digital health network that provides innovative care solutions to patients. You can meet with a doctor from your phone, laptop, or tablet. Click here to learn more and apply for a medical marijuana card.

Amendment 3 increases in MMJ patient allotment

The amendment will expand the amount of weed that medical patients can buy at a time from four ounces of dried marijuana flower (or its equivalent) to six ounces of weed each month. Under the amendment, nonmedical users will be able to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana, nearly half the allotment of medical card holders. 

A common misunderstanding is that patient allotments reset each month. And especially with this increase, it may be hard for people to keep track of. That’s where a new app, Gramify, comes into play. Gramify was developed to assist Missouri’s MMJ patients in tracking their prescribed monthly allotment.

I strive to give MMJ patients full control of, always being “in the know” of their availability,” said creator and founder Nicholas Pride. “It gives people a sense of empowerment they all deserve.” Click here to learn more about Gramify

Extended Missouri medical card renewal period

How does Amendment 3 impact medical marijuana card holders? The answer is only positive. First off, now medical cards issued by the Department of Health and Human Services will be valid for three years – a huge jump from the current 1 year renewal period. The cost of Missouri medical marijuana cards will remain at $25.

The same will be true for patients who grow their own weed at home. Patient cultivation cards currently last for one year, but now the cards will be valid for three years. The cost of securing a cultivation card will also be cut in half, making it only $50 instead of $100.

Changes in cannabis around the US

The world of cannabis is changing rapidly and marijuana is entering the conversation in nearly every corner of the United States – especially in politics. As states pass new legislation, like Missouri’s Amendment 3, MMJ patients and recreational users will be at the forefront of the experience. To learn more about what is happening around the country, visit the greenpass blog.

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