Missouri passed Amendment 2 in November 2018 through a ballot initiative. Many potential clients are asking: when does Amendment 2 go into effect? Missouri’s Department of Health and Human Services (“DHSS”) has gotten its page up and running and has given us a timeline:
December 6, 2018: the law passed under Amendment 2 goes into effect. Qualifying patients can request certification from doctors.
January 5, 2019: DHSS will allow entrepreneurs hoping to open a medical cannabis business to pre-pay a $6,000 licensing fee
June 4, 2019: Application forms and instructions will be available through DHSS
July 4, 2019: Applications for identification cards will begin to be accepted (for both qualifying patients and their caregivers)
August. 3, 2019: Facility applications will begin to be accepted
December 31, 2019: Deadline for DHSS to approve applications submitted on August 3, 2019
Unless DHSS begins accepting applications ahead of the above deadlines, the first dispensaries are expected to open in Missouri early in 2020. However, there could be a lag time between when the first applications for dispensaries are approved and the dates medical cannabis supply becomes available, since the application deadlines for dispensaries and grow facilities is the same (August 3) and grow facilities will take a few months to produce a mature harvest of plant material for consumers. This is because, according to DHSS, “while the possession is technically allowed, there will be no marijuana available for legal possession. There will not yet be any licensed dispensary facilities to purchase marijuana from; cultivation identification cards will not yet have been issued; and transportation of marijuana into Missouri from another state or purchase of marijuana from street dealers is prohibited under state and federal law.” What is unknown at this point is how quickly patients will receive their medical cards after the July 4, 2019 application acceptance date, and if applications for patient personal use cultivation cards will be approved and issued simultaneously with the patient cards.