Opening a Dispensary in Missouri
Historically, Missouri has had some of the toughest cannabis laws in the country. Possessing as little as 35 grams can still result in jail time. Similarly, individuals convicted of selling, trafficking, or cultivating cannabis may face stiff sentences. Selling amounts less than 5 grams can result in up to seven years in prison.
Notably, there are minimum sentences for many cannabis-related offenses. Possession of more than one ounce carries a mandatory one-year prison term. Such offenders can also be charged with intent to distribute based on the amount possessed. Sentences for these convictions are often much greater than those for possession offenses.
Fortunately, cannabis laws in Missouri have slowly been changing. In 2014, legislation to update the criminal code helped to decriminalize cannabis. First-time possession offenders with small amounts may not have to face prison time and receive the opportunity to keep a clean record.
Medical Cannabis Applications
The Missouri Hemp Law passed through House Bill 2238 allows hemp extract to be used to treat epilepsy. Those suffering from severe and debilitating epileptic issues can use cannabis extracts as a form of treatment. These extracts must be high in CBD and low in THC levels.
Currently, the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use are limited. Only patients with a disorder that causes seizures can qualify. Even then, they need a recommendation from a neurologist to be eligible for a registration card. This allows the purchase of hemp extract from two state-regulated distribution centers. Additionally, the Department of Agriculture is authorized to license and regulate growers who meet the statutory requirements for CBD and THC content.
Hemp may be used in Missouri for industrial purposes. This plant variety has minimal psychoactive effects and is used for purposes such as paper manufacturing, animal feed, and insulation. Anyone who has never been convicted of a drug-related offense may cultivate industrial hemp.
How to Open a Dispensary in Missouri
Currently, marijuana dispensaries in Missouri are illegal. The only operations allowed to sell cannabis products are two state-regulated cannabidiol oil care centers. However, as the state moves toward more relaxed cannabis laws, it is possible that opportunities for operating dispensaries and other cannabis-related businesses will become available.
While Missouri currently has stringent cannabis laws, there are still a small number of opportunities in the industry. Additionally, many other states have enacted significantly more relaxed laws. American Cannabis Company helps people launch and grow businesses in the cannabis industry. To learn more about cannabis in Missouri or any other state, contact us.