MISSOURI MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS

Missouri Medical Marijuana Laws and Licensing Procedures

Last updated, June 4, 2019

Missouri voted to legalize medical cannabis in November of 2018. Under the new law, residents of Missouri who obtain physician certification can apply for a medical marijuana license. The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is responsible for issuing licenses to qualified patients and all facilities serving the medical cannabis space, including dispensaries.

DHSS will begin accepting applications from qualifying patients on July 4, 2019. Applicants will need a physician certification that is no more than 30 days old.

Applications for cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary, testing, transportation, and seed-to-sale licenses will be accepted starting August 3, 2019 and until August 17, 2019.

For dispensaries, the number of initial licenses will be limited to 192. Each of Missouri’s 8 districts will be allowed a maximum of 24. DHSS will conduct scoring to determine the most qualified applicants to serve the medical cannabis market. It is important to gather your information now and ensure you meet all criteria to maximize your chances of success. If you miss the deadline, it may be 6 months or more before more applications are considered.

The official rules are available in their entirety on the DHSS website. We have summarized the information here in Q & A form.

You can also view the Facility License Application Questions and Scoring Criteria here.

 

Related resources:

California Dispensary Laws / Colorado Dispensary Laws / Washington Dispensary Laws / Oklahoma Dispensary Laws / Michigan Dispensary Laws

MISSOURI MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAW

Here are the basics on the new medical marijuana law in Missouri.

WHO CAN BUY MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN MISSOURI?

Qualifying patients over 18, or Primary Caregivers of certain qualifying patients under the age of 18, who possess an ID card issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) can purchase medical marijuana from any state-licensed dispensary. To obtain this ID card, a qualifying patient or Primary Caregiver must obtain physician certification and apply via the DHSS within 30 days.

ARE THERE ANY QUALIFYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS?

Yes, patients must have one of the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraines
  • Chronic severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms
  • Debilitating psychiatric disorders
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Chronic medical conditions otherwise treated by prescription medications that may be habit-forming
  • Any terminal illness
  • Other chronic, debilitating or other medical conditions at a physician’s discretion

HOW MUCH DOES A MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENT LICENSE IN MISSOURI COST?

Each patient or Primary Caregiver ID card costs $25 and is valid for 1 year. Physician certification must also be renewed annually.

WHAT ARE THE POSSESSION LIMITS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS IN MISSOURI?

While certain exceptions apply, and require certification from multiple physicians, state law says it is legal for all medical marijuana patients and Primary Caregivers to possess:

  • Up to 6 flowering marijuana plants
  • Up to a 90-day supply of dried, unprocessed marijuana or equivalent (if cultivating plants on their property)
  • Up to a 60-day supply of dried, unprocessed marijuana or equivalent (if not cultivating plants)

MEDICAL MARIJUANA LICENSING

For those interested in opening a medical marijuana dispensary in Missouri, here are some key highlights of the law regarding obtaining a marijuana license.

.

WHAT TYPE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA LICENSES ARE AVAILABLE IN MISSOURI?

There are specific cannabis licenses available in Missouri for cultivation, dispensary, manufacturing, testing, and transportation.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR OBTAINING A DISPENSARY LICENSE IN MISSOURI?

Beginning August 3, 2019, you can apply for a dispensary license through a DHSS-provided web-based application system. The DHSS website will publish time periods during which it will accept dispensary applications. Complete applications submitted within the time periods will be approved or denied within 150 days. If an application is incomplete, the DHSS will notify and allow applicants 7 days to provide the missing information. After you receive a license, you will need to pass a commencement inspection before you can open your dispensary.   

After the deadline for applications, you will have to wait for the DHSS to publish new application timetables. It will publish those times a minimum of 6 months in advance, so you will have to wait at least that long if you miss the application window.

Important dates to remember are as follows:

  • Jan. 5, 2019 – Pre-filed application fees will begin to be accepted.
  • June 4, 2019 – Application forms and instructions will be available.
  • July 4, 2019 – Applications for identification cards will begin to be accepted.
  • Aug. 3, 2019 – Facility applications will begin to be accepted.

WHAT FEES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A DISPENSARY LICENSE IN MISSOURI?

There is a $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10, 000 annual fee for your dispensary license.

WHAT STATE AGENCY IS IN CHARGE OF LICENSING?

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is in charge of reviewing applications and approving patient and dispensary licenses.

IS ONE ENTITY ALLOWED TO OWN MORE THAN ONE LICENSE?

Up to 5 dispensary licenses, or 3 cultivation licenses, or 3 manufacturing licenses may be issued to “any entity under substantially common control, ownership, or management.”

WHAT ARE THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS?

Applicants for commercial licenses must be a Missouri resident with proof of residency for at least 1 year. Entities must be majority-owned by natural persons who have been citizens of Missouri for at least 1 year and do not claim resident privileges in another state or county.

No facility can be owned in any part by or employ anyone with a disqualifying felony offense. Applications must include a statement confirming all owners, principal officers, and managers have submitted fingerprints and undergone a criminal background check by the Missouri State Highway Patrol within in the past 6 months.

WHAT ARE THE KEY CRITERIA APPLICANTS WILL BE SCORED ON TO EARN THE BEST CHANCE AT A DISPENSARY LICENSE?

If the number of applicants is greater than the number of dispensary licenses available, the DHSS will determine the most suitable candidates by scoring and ranking applicants. Here are some of the criteria they will use, and you should consider to ensure your best chance at getting a license:

  • The character and qualifications of the principal officers or managers
  • The business plan, including safety, security, supply, low-income patient solutions, and black market diversion measures
  • Dispensary site security
  • Previous experience in a legal cannabis market
  • Potential for positive economic impact in the community
  • Capacity or experience with health care, and the suitability and accessibility of the location for patients
  • A plan to maintain competitiveness in the medical marijuana market



WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE MISSOURI MEDICAL MARIJUANA LICENSING PROCESS?

You can find the draft rules outlining application information and all other aspects of the Medical Marijuana Program on the Missouri DHSS website. You can also view the draft of the Facility License Application Questions.

MISSOURI DISPENSARY LAWS

Maintaining compliance is key to keeping your license. Familiarize yourself with some of the important rules for running a medical marijuana dispensary in Missouri.

WHAT DOCUMENT DO YOU NEED TO WORK IN A DISPENSARY IN MISSOURI?

Each owner, officer, manager, contractor, employee or support staff must obtain an Agent Identification Card with a unique identifying number. This must be granted before any individual can begin employment. You can apply for this ID card through the DHSS for a fee of $75 and it is valid for 3 years.

WHO CAN MISSOURI DISPENSARIES SELL TO?

Only medical patients (or Primary Caregivers) with a valid DHSS-issued ID card can purchase from a dispensary in Missouri.

WHAT ARE THE RESTRICTIONS ON DISPENSARY LOCATION IN MISSOURI?

When choosing a dispensary location, regulations state that your facility must be at least 1,000 feet from an elementary or secondary school, daycare, or church. This is measured by a straight line (shortest distance) from the closest external wall of the dispensary to the closest property line point of the school, daycare, or church. Individual districts can increase these boundaries.

WHAT CAN BE SOLD IN A MISSOURI DISPENSARY?

Medical cannabis dispensaries in Missouri can sell mature plants, seedlings, concentrates, flower, and edibles.

WHAT ARE THE LIMITS ON HOW MUCH A DISPENSARY CAN SELL A MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENT?

A dispensary cannot sell more than four (4) ounces of dried, unprocessed cannabis, or its equivalent, to any qualifying patient within a 30-day period, in accordance with possession limits for individuals.

WHAT ARE LABELING AND PACKAGING REQUIREMENTS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA?

Missouri law states that packaging for medical marijuana must be clearly and conspicuously labeled as “Marijuana” or “Marijuana-infused Product”. It must not be designed to cause confusion between a marijuana product and any product not containing marijuana, or to appeal in any way to a minor. Packaging must be opaque, resealable, and constructed to be significantly difficult for children under 5 to open.

Packaging may not contain any health benefit claims, but it must contain proper warnings consistent with state laws.

WHAT IS THE TAX ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA?

There is a 4% sales tax on medical marijuana, with the revenue to be distributed to healthcare services, job training, housing assistance, and other services for veterans.

WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS ON ADVERTISING MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN MISSOURI?

You cannot display marijuana, accessories, or advertisements for either anywhere that can be seen by the general public outside your dispensary. Any signage visible to the outside public may only contain your business name, address, phone number, and website. It can’t contain images of marijuana, accessories, or suggestive images like smoke. You can’t give away free product during promotional events or allow smoking in the dispensary.

INVENTORY CONTROL AND SEED-TO-SALE TRACKING AND REPORTING IN MISSOURI

All medical marijuana facilities, including dispensaries, must follow certain inventory control protocols to ensure compliance with state laws and prevent diversion into the black market.

WHAT INVENTORY CONTROL SYSTEMS ARE REQUIRED BY A DISPENSARY IN MISSOURI?

All dispensaries must appoint, in writing, a facility agent who is generally responsible for inventory control systems and procedures. All medical marijuana weighed or measured must be done so using a National Type Evaluation Program approved scale, which must be calibrated at least once a year. Each dispensary must use a DHSS-certified seed-to-sale tracking system.

HOW OFTEN DO DISPENSARIES NEED TO AUDIT INVENTORY?

Physical inventory counts are to be conducted quarterly and reconciled to perpetual inventory records. Any significant variances must be documented, investigated by a manager, and reported to DHSS within 24 hours.

WHAT ARE THE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR DISPENSARIES?

The Missouri DHSS requires all facilities to use a department-certified seed-to-sale tracking system, connected to the statewide track and trace system, that records each day’s beginning inventory, acquisitions, sales, disbursements, remediations, disposals, transfers, ending inventory, and any other data required by the statewide track and trace system. That includes:

  •        Weight of dried, unprocessed marijuana sold, in ounces or grams
  •        Concentrates, in grams
  •        Infused products, by milligrams of THC

Missouri has chosen Metrc as its track and trace system. Cova software will integrate directly with Metrc to reduce time and errors in the reporting process, making compliance easier for dispensaries.

WHAT ARE THE LAWS ON RECORD KEEPING?

All records must be maintained for at least five years after the date of recording.

WHO HAS OVERSIGHT AND AUDITING RESPONSIBILITIES?

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will have oversight and auditing powers over all of Missouri’s commercial medical marijuana operations.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR BREAKING COMPLIANCE LAWS?

A failure to comply with seed-to-sale tracking requirements by any facility or employee can result in the facility’s license being revoked.

WILL COVA REPORTING MEET MISSOURI'S REQUIREMENTS?

Yes, the Cova POS will generate reports to specifically comply with Missouri regulations, and will be integrated with the Metrc track and trace system, so you can automatically submit reports on time. Cova’s system will further automate compliance with instant age verification and purchase limit monitoring.

DOES COVA SOFTWARE MEET SEED-TO-SALE TRACKING REQUIREMENTS IN MISSOURI?

Yes, Cova helps with compliance by meeting all the DHSS seed-to-sale tracking requirements.
  • Cova will be integrated with metrc, the statewide track-and-trace system, to provide all required information for inventory control and tracking.
  • Allows DHSS access to all system database information.
  • Maintains confidentiality of all patient data and records by restricting access to only the department and other entities authorized by law.
  • Produces reports to DHSS that include all required sales and inventory analytics.

METRC

Reporting to your governing body is essential to running a legal (and successful) cannabis retail dispensary. Get the facts here.

What is Metrc?

Metrc is a cannabis track and trace reporting system that allows state governments to monitor commercial cannabis activity. Metrc, which stands for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance, was originally developed by software manufacturer Franwell for the state of Colorado; it is now used by the majority of states with adult-use cannabis markets.

When can I start working with Metrc?

Once you have a temporary or annual retail operator license, have created your account in Metrc and completed the required training, you may begin working with Metrc.



Am I required to report track and trace data in Metrc if I have a temporary license?

No, temporary licensees are not required to report in Metrc. However, temporary licensees are required to keep records of all track and trace information from the time they begin retail operations. Once an annual license has been approved, you must backlog all the track and trace information that you’ve recorded and begin daily reporting in Metrc.

How do I report in Metrc?

Once you’ve set up your account in Metrc, you’ll be able to enter your daily track and trace reports. There are two ways to do this.

The first way is manual reporting. This method requires logging in to your Metrc account at the end of every single business day and manually entering all the data from every transaction and other activity that occurred. Along with being time-consuming and cumbersome, manual reporting puts you at great risk of mistakenly recording incorrect information—which can lead to a serious compliance issue.

The second way is to utilize a retail-specific cannabis dispensary software that can integrate with Metrc and automatically sync reportable data from your store’s transactions and activities as they occur in real time.

How do I report if the system is down or the internet is out?

In the event that you lose connectivity to Metrc or experience an internet outage that prevents you from daily reporting, you must record all reportable information and upload it to the system within three days of restored connectivity.



What are my responsibilities with regard to inventory documentation and reconciliation?

The state mandates that retailers maintain accurate inventory records. Physical inventory must be reconciled with records at least once every 14 days. You must also reconcile physical inventory with the counts you’ve reported in Metrc at least every 14 days.




POINT OF SALE

You definitely need a cannabis-specific POS at your dispensary. Find the most frequently asked tech questions here.

How do I manage state compliance using my point-of-sale?

Cova POS software provides complete seed-to-sale tracking functionality and has a number of built-in features designed to help you automatically comply with the legal regulations in your state/province. For example, the Cova POS system automatically monitors:

  • Purchase Limits – The POS system automatically calculates the correct THC amounts for all products, including concentrates and edibles. By relieving your staff of this complex task, the POS prevents mistakes in calculation and allows your budtenders to focus on customer service—and not on mathematical conversions. The system also enforces purchase limits by alerting staff when a limit has been reached and preventing budtenders from executing a sale that would place you over the legal limit.
  • Hours of Operation – The system can be easily configured to comply with local laws. Once the operational hours are set up, the POS will not allow sales to be executed outside the legal hours of operation, preventing potential violations before they occur.
  • Customer Identification Requirements – Customer IDs are easily scanned and recorded, ensuring your staff double checks IDs and virtually eliminating potential sales to minors or other individuals lacking the requisite documentation.
  • Accurate Real-Time Reporting – Operational visibility is also very important for your team. Cova POS software generates management reports in real time. These reports can be easily distributed across the organization to ensure the correct data is in the hands of the correct personnel.
  • Fully Compliant Product Labelling & Receipts Cova Software enables the complete customization of all printed materials, product labels, and receipts, enabling you to comply with all local regulations related to labeling and packaging quickly and easily.



What happens if my internet connection goes down and my dispensary is slammed with customers?

To ensure that you always maintain an expedient transaction pace and keep lines moving, Cova comes with a built-in offline sales processing mode that enables continuous access to critical functions even when your Wi-Fi or internet connection is unavailable. Once connectivity is restored, all transactions performed in offline mode are synchronized with the state’s reporting system, data is backed up, and reports and inventory records are adjusted accordingly.

How do I make sure I submit timely and accurate taxes each month to the government?

By choosing a POS system with built-in tax reporting functionality, you’ll always know exactly how much tax you need to pay.



Why is it important to have a marijuana-specific POS vs. a retail or pharmacy POS?

There are several reasons why a cannabis-specific POS is ideal for your operation—but the most important one is compliance management. Because traditional retail operations and pharmacies don’t have the same government-mandated compliance requirements, their POS systems aren’t built to manage the complexities involved with track and trace reporting and the other aspects of state compliance.

What happens if the state regulations change? How does Cova stay on top of this?

With the industry still in its infancy, regulations are bound to change. At Cova, our team keeps up with industry-wide and state-specific changes so that our developers can quickly made necessary software updates—and so you never have to worry about remaining compliant with the latest regulations.

Is Cova integrated with Metrc?

Currently, Metrc is not yet live in California since the state's regulations have not yet been officially adopted. However, Cova is working closely with Metrc and has already begun the process of integration, and we plan to be ready when the system goes live.



I have a high-traffic store. Can Cova support me and handle my volume?

Absolutely! Cova software is built on technology that has the ability to dynamically scale with your needs. Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Platform, Azure, automatically detects instances of heavy traffic (such as sales on 4/20) and assigns further servers and computing power as necessary to compensate—allowing you to process sales without interruption, even during the busiest retail periods.



Do I have to follow CA compliance even if it is not in effect? Will the POS still process sales?

Although technically you are not mandated to comply with the new law and regulations until July, it’s a good idea to implement a compliant POS now so you don’t have to switch later.

How do I do the 14-day inventory reconciliation?

With Cova, you can easily stay compliant with California’s inventory reconciliation requirement by printing the Inventory-on-hand report and checking it against your physical inventory. You can make any necessary adjustments directly into the POS, which will then sync the data across your network.

Ron Segev

Cannabis Business Lawyer & Founding Partner, Segev LLP

Legally reviewed by

Ron Segev

Ron Segev is the founding partner of Segev LLP. A practical-minded business lawyer with expertise in the cannabis industry, he represents cultivators, dispensaries, CBD extractors, oil extractors, food processors, media and marketing companies, consultancies, and other businesses in the legal cannabis market.\

View Ron's full bio

REQUEST A DEMO

How to open a Cannabis Dispensary store Ebook

How to Open a Dispensary 

DOWNLOAD EBOOK

POS BUYING GUIDE

DOWNLOAD

Read our blog

READ NOW