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Today marks important date in timeline of legal recreational marijuana in Missouri

Marijuana bill advances
Posted at 1:13 PM, Dec 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-08 18:58:28-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thursday marks one of several key dates in Missouri as the state continues on the path toward legal recreational marijuana.

Starting today, Missourians can legally possess three ounces of marijuana.

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Today also marks the start of reviewing cases of people previously convicted of non-violent marijuana possession. Starting today, medical marijuana dispensaries can begin applying for recreational licenses.

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In November, Missouri voters signed off on an amendment that made the recreational use of marijuana legal, but it was only the start of a months-long process until residents could legally purchase the drug.

Following the vote, state officials started to create rules laying out the exact details of the program.

A draft of those rules was released on Nov. 10, with public comment taken through Nov. 25.

MORE | Complete Marijuana in Missouri coverage from KSHB 41

As the calendar turns into December, state officials are finalizing those rules.

Yes, cannabis is legal but you still can't go to a dispensary to buy any yet. Right now, dispensaries are busy with paperwork so they can be ready to open for recreational sales in mid-February.

The state has until Feb. 6 to accept those applications.

In the meantime, it leaves consumers in a confusing position.

You can now legally possess up to three ounces of cannabis. You can't use or smoke it in public and you can't take it across state lines.

So, say you're a Missouri resident who has the legal limit and you're in Missouri. Theoretically, if cannabis is now no different than cigarettes or alcohol, how much will police enforce it?

The Department of Health and Senior Services said it has nothing to do with this part. So, we asked the Missouri State Highway Patrol. They're still trying to figure it out themselves, and at the time this story was published, we hadn't received clarification.

Patients can now legally buy and have up to six ounces of cannabis per 30 days instead of four.

Starting in early January, Missourians can begin the application process for obtaining a license to grow their own marijuana for personal use.

In early February, the state faces a deadline to start approving recreational permits for businesses, though if the state finalizes rules, the approvals could happen earlier.

MORE | Submit your question about Missouri's new marijuana laws