By: Buz Deliere | January 31, 2023
UPDATE: Recreational Sales in Missouri went into effect 3 days early on Friday , February 3, 2023.
In 2022, Missouri joined the legion of states in legalizing recreational cannabis as Amendment 3 to Article XIV passed into law. Despite its status as a schedule I controlled substance at the federal level, this makes Missouri number 21 on the list and expands its existing medical marijuana program.
The statewide race to amend the state constitution was close, but passed by a slim margin of 53.1%. Yet in Dent County bucking the trend with 65.9%, citizens voted against it making them an outlier among their peers.
Missouri will soon make recreational cannabis available to citizens. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Cannabis Regulation released an implementation timeline suggesting licensed dispensaries could start selling cannabis as early as February 6th.
Beginning Feb. 6, Salem's Trinity Dispensary will provide recreational cannabis products to local customers, taking their offerings beyond medical marijuana.
Missouri residents can now light up in celebration as Amendment 3 makes recreational cannabis legal throughout the state. However, it is worth taking a moment to understand the updated regulations — so you don't get your spliff's snuffed out by law enforcement!
Dent County Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Curley and assistant prosecutor James Weber have teamed up to present law enforcement with an insightful brief on the newest regulations governing medical marijuana. This important document outlines changes instituted by recent legislation, as well as how this may affect existing programs involving cannabis treatment.
The recent briefing, regarding cannabis use, brings new protections to users, while also keeping some of the existing restrictions intact. This is a much-needed shift towards more understanding and leniency as it pertains to cannabis usage in society today.
Who can buy cannabis?
Now that legal cannabis has arrived it's important to know the rules. Adults 21 and over now have the opportunity to purchase up to three ounces of cannabis per transaction.
Can I grow cannabis?
Those with a green thumb can even apply for their own cultivator license, as long as the plants remain out of sight from the general public you can grow your own.
Growing plants may be a peaceful activity, but it can also carry considerable consequences. Cultivators who do not abide by the regulations of their state face fines up to $250 and seizure of plants to a possible misdemeanor for repeat offenders. So, don’t let your green thumb get you into any trouble!
Be a responsible toker
It's a tale as old as time -- adults should not be giving marijuana to minors. Possession, use, ingestion, inhalation or transporting of the substance by anyone under 18 comes with hefty consequences: forfeiture and fines up to $100. Moral of the story: keep your ganja away from kiddos.
Where can I smoke my ganja?
The new law prohibits the public consumption of cannabis but offers one exception: designated areas where smoking is allowed. So if you’re looking to partake in some cannabis euphoria while out and about, best check first to see which locations allow it!
Employers can remain firmly in control of the work atmosphere by prohibiting cannabis use on-site and ensuring employees don't come to work under its influence. The law supports this decision, giving employers full authority over their premises when it comes to cannabis consumption.
Cannabis isn't welcome everywhere you go - private property owners have the right to restrict use on their premises, so it pays to know before consuming.
Understanding the new laws and the legal system
The legal landscape is undergoing a transformation as well as the new law brings sweeping changes to police practices and proceedings in court systems across the state.
Law enforcement has to take medical marijuana use into account now when conducting searches and making arrests. Qualifying patients are protected from prosecution in court if they legally possess or utilize the substance as prescribed. This dramatic shift also applies to those out on bond for criminal offenses, giving them sanctuary thanks to their legal rights related to medicinal cannabis use.
Driving under the influence laws now require more than just a trace of THC to be incriminating- recent updates guarantee that drivers must display signs of impairment as proof. Police officers may use field sobriety tests such as balancing on one leg or walking in a straight line, so impaired motorists don't get away with an undetected crime.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal and may result in criminal prosecution. It’s also a crime to consume pot inside an operating vehicle, as it poses dangers for those traveling on public roads. Be sure that your smoking session stays within legal bounds!
Cannabis Pardons? You bet!
Amendment 3 grants a unique opportunity to those who have suffered marijuana-related offenses in the past—now, convictions involving less than three pounds of pot may be expunged from criminal records! Furthermore, if one is presently incarcerated after being convicted on such charges they can petition the sentencing court for immediate release; providing an even brighter future ahead.
What else to expect from the changes ahead
Cannabis sales in Missouri are taxed at 6%, with additional local taxes allowed up to 3% more. Pot proceeds will fund the expungement of marijuana cases, help veterans and support treatment for addiction as well as the public defender system.
With the new legislation, dispensaries must now follow specific guidelines that ensure they are located and operated a safe distance away from daycares, schools, and churches.
According to recent updates, the scent of marijuana or even just its packaging won't be enough evidence for probable cause searches.
With the legalization of recreational cannabis coming into effect, Canadians need to make sure they stay informed and compliant with all laws related to its use. Have fun responsibly and celebrate worry-free!