KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In November, Missouri voters approved a measure to make recreational cannabis legal in the state.
The vote has opened up lots of unanswered questions.
KSHB 41 News viewers have submitted many questions about the new measure. Throughout the next couple months, we're working to get you answers. We'll be answering additional questions as we go along.
COMPLETE COVERAGE | Marijuana in Missouri
Here's what we've found out so far (scroll down to submit your question):
How old do you have to be?
Think of it kind of like buying and drinking alcohol. If you’re 21 and up, you can buy, grow and possess cannabis in Missouri.
When can I buy?
Realistically, you can expect to be able to walk into a dispensary and buy cannabis by mid-February 2023, so just a few months away.
When can I start growing at home?
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will start accepting applications to grow as soon as on Feb. 6. That means if you get the license, you’re only growing for your home. You’re not selling to anybody else outside of your home. Your grow also has to be in an enclosed and locked space.
How much can I grow at home?
The state says you can have up to six flowering plants - those are the plants where you can see the buds. You’re also able to have up to 18 non-mature plants. Those are the plants that have not flowered yet, so 24 plants total.
What about people in Kansas or out-of-state?
If you don't live in Missouri, sure, you could come to a dispensary, purchase and possess cannabis. That's similar to other states, such as Colorado. However, you have to stay in Missouri. You can't bring it back with you across state lines to Kansas or wherever you live because cannabis is still not federally legalized.
What does this mean for people who already have their medical card? What's the benefit of having a medical card now?
The Department of Health and Senior Services says the end product will be the same and go through the same safety regulations, only now the point of sale will be different. They say you might be interested in a medical card so you can have the benefits or protections related to employment.
Can my job still test me and fire me for using cannabis?
The answer is yes. Make sure you know what's in your employee handbook. However, there are protections if you're a medical patient and you use it outside of work. That said, don't expect to be able to light up a joint or pop an edible at work; Just as your employer restricts you from using alcohol and drugs while on the job, they can restrict you from using cannabis while you're working, too.
Where will the money from cannabis sales go?
There will be a six percent sales tax on cannabis. At least two percent of that will go to the Veterans, Health, and Community Reinvestment fund and some will go to make sure the state can expunge records. The remainder will be equally divided into three pots - the veterans commission, a public defender fund, and a drug treatment and education fund.
How much money is cannabis going to bring in to Missouri?
The Department of Health and Senior Services says they expect anywhere from double to triple the amount of sales they're doing with the medicinal program now. This year, the state is expected to make $380 million from medicinal sales. So if you triple that for adult-use, we could be looking at over $1 billion a year.
State regulators have posted several other rules that are in the draft phase. You can read more about those rules on the state's website.