Missouri's First Medical Cannabis Harvest
Missouri's First Medical Cannabis Harvest SOON
Missouri's First Medical Cannabis Harvest followed by testing and sales to patients, is expected soon! When they awarded licenses last winter, administrators of Missouri's medical marijuana program anticipated products being dispensed during the summer, but the global Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the roll-out - that is until now.
Currently, only two dispensaries have opened (both in St. Louis), and they don't yet have products available for patients.
Having medical marijuana on the shelves for patients is imminent, according to Lyndall Fraker, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services section for medical marijuana regulation.
It is about time for harvest at a couple of Missouri medical marijuana cultivation facilities that have met all the state's requirements to grow the products! Of note, all medical marijuana produced in the state of Missouri must go through a testing process at a testing facility before being made available to patients, but Missouri's first medical cannabis harvest now going to production is a critical first step even though no testing facilities have actually opened yet. Testing facilities check the levels of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) of all marijuana cultivated in the state of Missouri. They test manufactured products, such as edibles. And they check for dangerous compounds like toxins and bacteria.
So, since Missouri's first medical cannabis harvest is in the imminent works, we should also note that a testing facility in eastern Missouri is close to opening.
"That's the one big piece of the puzzle. We have one testing facility that's requested their commencement inspection, but they're actually still waiting on some equipment," Fraker said. "We're ready. We know it's important, but the ball's in their court on that."
Missouri's medical marijuana amendment passed in 2018 with nearly 66 percent of voters' approval. It made marijuana legal for treatment of cancer; epilepsy; glaucoma; intractable (persistent and non-responsive to other treatment) migraines; chronic medical conditions that cause severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to psychiatric disorders (when diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist), including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder; human immunodeficiency virus or acquired dependence (if a physician determines cannabis would be effective and safer); any terminal illness; or (in the professional judgment of a physician) any other chronic debilitating medical condition.
Already, thousands of potential medical marijuana patients applied for licenses to purchase medical marijuana. The division approved more than 23,000 patients and caregivers in 2019, despite there being no production completed or distribution of products expected until late this summer (now delayed due to Covid-19).
Since the beginning of 2020, applications for medical marijuana patient or caregiver cards in Missouri have jumped. Caregivers, by definition, are at least 21 years old and responsible for managing the well-being of a qualified patient.
As of August 31, 2020, the Missouri medical marijuana division had approved 61,541 patient and caregiver applications.
The division also received more than 1,000 applications monthly for patient cultivator status (so people may grow their own medical marijuana) and more than 100 caregiver cultivator cards monthly.
The licenses to purchase medical marijuana expire after one year. In addition to this being a renewal period for the early applicants, new applicants anticipate the dispensaries opening soon, which is further evidenced by the announcement of Missouri's first medical cannabis harvest being ready to begin.
The division anticipates being really busy in September, October and November, as more and more facilities are expected to come online.
Even before most facilities have opened, annual fees have increased, according to health.mo.gov. DHSS will adjust licensure fees annually (either up or down) based on the previous calendar year's Consumer Price Index. The adjustment takes effect every July 1.
Patient or caregiver fees each rose from $25 to $25.58. Patient cultivator fees rose from $100 to $102.30.
The annual cultivation fee rose from $25,000 to $25,575; dispensary from $10,000 to $10,230; testing facility from $5,000 to $5,115; manufacturing from $10,000 to $10,230; and transportation from $5,000 to $5,115.
All fees are non-refundable, as were application fees.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri
To obtain a medical marijuana card, a patient needs to get a physician certification signed by a Missouri-licensed medical doctor that documents his or her medical condition. A patient should bring any relevant medical documents to an appointment to prove the medical condition. The physician certification proves that a doctor has recommended medical marijuana. Here at CalmEffect we now offer medical marijuana appointments via Telemed and at discounted rates.
After receiving the signed physician’s certification, a patient must apply to the state health department for a card within thirty days of receiving the certification. A patient may begin the application process on the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services website, Health.MO.Gov/safety/medical-marijuana. Personal information, including name, social security number, and photo identification are required.
The patient or caregiver card fee is now $25.58 annually. Physician certifications vary in price and have to be renewed annually. The fee for a home grower card is now $102.30 annually.
Missouri Medical Marijuana Sales - Where to Buy?
As dispensaries quickly prepare for opening this Fall or Winter (2020), many have their permanent locations already set up and nearly ready to roll.
Visit our Marijuana Dispensary Locations Page for Missouri to find out where you can access your meds once everything is fully operational. Amazingly, Missouri Medical Marijuana Sales Dispensaries are PLENTIFUL (there are hundreds) and we have organized them A-Z so you can find the most convenient locations accordingly.