Missouri Marijuana Update
There is no question that state marijuana laws have become more permissive in recent years. While it remains illegal to possess, distribute, or cultivate marijuana on a federal level, many states, including Missouri, have passed various and confusing laws that can leave the general public confused regarding marijuana’s legal status.
Currently, in Missouri, marijuana has been partially decriminalized on a state level. This means that while possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense, a conviction carries no possibility of jail time. Some municipalities in the state have fully decriminalized marijuana possession up to a certain amount. In 2018, medical marijuana became legal in Missouri for people with certain qualifying medical conditions. Here are some recent developments to the law that may be of interest.
DHSS Publishes Final Rules Medical Marijuana
Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) published its final rules to regulate the state’s medical marijuana program. Missouri residents can now access the form to register as a patient, paving the way for them to be able to buy medical marijuana when the first dispensaries open (which is expected to occur sometime next year). Currently, people with a medical marijuana license may consume and possess Marijuana. In addition, they may cultivate it if they have a cultivation authorization from DHSS.
DHSS Issues Emergency Rule Related to Licensing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Under Amendment 2 (which legalized medical marijuana), DHSS has until December 31st to approve applications for medical marijuana dispensary licenses. On October 29th, the agency drafted a new emergency rule creating procedures for confirming the acceptance of a license/certification and for issuing new licenses/certifications when they become available.
Specifically, the rule requires facilities which are offered a license/certification to affirmatively accept it within 48 hours, or the license will be offered to the next ranked facility. In addition, it creates procedures for facilities that meet the minimum requirements for a license/certification but that are denied because of numerical scoring to maintain eligibility for a period of time. This will allow DDHS to provide licenses to conditionally denied facilities should they become available without the facility having to reinitiate the process.
New Policing Guidelines
The Missouri association of Police Chiefs have instructed their officers that they are not to ask where a person who is legally carrying marijuana with a medical marijuana license obtained their marijuana from.
Legal Marijuana in Illinois Does Not Mean You Can Drive It Back to Missouri
If you are a marijuana enthusiast, you have almost certainly heard that recreational marijuana will become legal in Illinois on January 1st of 2020. Before you go to the “east side” to pick up some legal weed, keep in mind that bringing it back home can get you in serious legal trouble. In fact, transporting marijuana over state lines could even result in federal criminal charges, so think twice before availing yourself of Illinois recreational marijuana law as a way to get legal weed.
If You Have Been Charged with a Marijuana-Related Crime, Call a St. Louis Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately
Marijuana-related offenses can have serious legal and collateral consequences that can affect you for years to come. At Bruntrager & Billings, we are committed to helping people facing drug charges resolve their legal issues as favorably as possible. To schedule a free case evaluation with a criminal defense attorney in St. Louis, call our office today at 314-646-0066 or send us an email through our online contact form.