Are you interested in starting a cannabis business in Missouri? The cannabis consultants at New Leaf can help you navigate the process!
This summary of Missouri requirements and license application process outlines what it takes to win a marijuana business license. Get started today to meet the demands of consumers! Schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable cannabis consultants in Missouri.
Missouri Cannabis Consulting & License Application Writing Experts
New Leaf Cannabis Consulting is the #1 Top Rated Cannabis Application Writing, Consulting, and Capital Fundraising one-stop-shop in the U.S. We offer a complete range of services from business model formation and planning, to state licensure, to raising capital and finding investors for the business.
New Leaf has worked with over 180 clients in over 16 different states since we opened our doors in 2015. Our success rate is well over 95% across the board. We offer more services than any of our competition.
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Cannabis Market Condition Overview
Business Climate and Timeline
Missouri Amendment 3, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative measure, was on the ballot and approved on November 8, 2022. The initiative was designed to legalize the purchase, possession, consumption, use, delivery, manufacturing, and sale of marijuana for personal use for adults over the age of 21.
Missouri Constitution will be amended to:
- legalize the purchase, possession, consumption, use, delivery, manufacture, and sale of marijuana for personal use for adults over the age of twenty-one
- allow individuals with certain marijuana-related offenses to petition for release from prison or parole and probation and have their records expunged
- enact a 6% tax on the retail price of recreational marijuana
In 2018, Medical marijuana was legalized in Missouri when voters approved of Amendment 2. Amendment 2 legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, taxed marijuana sales at 4%, and required tax revenue to be spent on healthcare services for veterans. Medical marijuana was not legalized for use or possession in Missouri prior to 2018.
Real Estate & Zoning
In most states, you will need to lock down the location for business operations in the form of either a lease, lease with option to purchase, or a purchase agreement.
Most importantly, during the real estate acquisition process, your company MUST make sure that the actual location COMPLETELY adheres to state and municipal regulations regarding distance restrictions from other businesses such as a daycare or school. An example of this would be Dispensary/Retail. Most times you will not be able to locate your dispensary in a section of the city which is not zoned specifically for retail. Your dispensary location cannot be located anywhere else. Check with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website for locality resolutions and ordinances.
Usually the next step is Municipal/City/Township Approval. Nine times out of ten, these steps will need to take place before the full license application can be completed and submitted.
Laws and Regulations
Cannabis in Missouri is illegal for recreational use but decriminalized through legislation passed in 2014. It will become legal on December 8, 2022, due to the passage of Amendment 3 on the November 2022 ballot. Medical use was legalized in 2018 through a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution.
In 2018, Missourians voted to pass Amendment 2 legalize medical marijuana with 65.5% support. Many local medical marijuana advocates and national organizations, including MPP, endorsed Amendment 2. The right of Missouri patients to safely access medical marijuana was enshrined in the state constitution.
With a physician’s approval, a patient may qualify for medical marijuana if they have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions:
- Intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment
- Conditions that cause persistent pain or muscle spasms, including MS, Parkinson’s disease, and
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Debilitating psychiatric disorders such as PTSD
- HIV or AIDS
- A chronic medical condition normally treated with prescription medication that can lead to dependence, when a physician determines that medical marijuana could be an effective and safer treatment
- Any terminal illness
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Sickle cell anemia
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Wasting syndrome
Home cultivation is permitted for caregivers and qualified patients who apply for and receive a cultivation card. Cardholders may grow up to six plants.
Timeline of marijuana reform in Missouri
2008: Missouri State Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s rejection of a patient’s medical necessity defense in Missouri v. Cox because the legislature had already expressed its intent by placing marijuana in Schedule I.
2014: Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill was signed into law allowing the use of CBD oil to treat persistent seizures. Lawmakers enacted SB 491, legislation that reduced penalties for those possessing up to 10 grams of marijuana. A first offense is punishable as a class D misdemeanor (an infraction) and carries a fine of $250-$1,000 with no jail time.
2015: Missouri issued licenses to two non-profits to grow cannabis for oil to be sold to patients.
2017: Kansas City voted to reduce the penalties for simple possession of marijuana. Local laws were amended to reduce possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana for adults age 21 and older from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil offense punishable by a $25 fine.
2018: Voters passed Amendment 2, legalizing medical marijuana in Missouri.
2020: Missourians for a New Approach submit petition language and begin signature gathering campaign but are ultimately forced to stop due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
2022: Legal Missouri 2022 launched a ballot petition campaign and submitted signatures to put adult-use legalization before the voters. Amendment 3 legalizing recreational marijuana passed on November 8, 2022.