by Missouri Health & Wellness
After years of advocacy, the state of Missouri finally legalized medical marijuana in November 2018. The war on marijuana is over, and that’s the message of most voters in Missouri to the state. Being able to grow the cannabis plant is exciting for the tens of thousands of caregivers and cardholders who have been waiting to legally buy cannabis since the program started.
In this article, we will focus on the step-by-step process of getting a medical marijuana card in Missouri.
Prerequisites for Obtaining Medical Cannabis in Missouri
In order to become a licensed Missouri medical marijuana patient or caregiver in the state of Missouri, you must be:
- A legal resident of Missouri and eighteen (18) years or older. In case you are a minor, you will need a Primary Caregiver that must be at least 21 years of age or older and must be designated on your medical marijuana card application.
- Diagnosed with one (or more) of the qualifying health conditions.
- Evaluated in-person by a licensed physician (medical marijuana doctor), not a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner). You must obtain medical certification from the licensed physician.
If you meet these requirements, you are eligible to apply for a medical marijuana patient card from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). The application fee for a patient identification card is $25, while a fee for a cultivation license is $100. Applications will be approved/denied within 30 days. Once your application is approved and you receive your medical cannabis card, you can purchase medical cannabis from a state-licensed cannabis dispensary.
Medical Marijuana Card Evaluation and Registration
Find a doctor to schedule an in-person evaluation and be sure to bring the correct forms provided by the state of Missouri.
Physician Certification Form. Use this form for the standard recommended dose of four ounces per month. For this amount of cannabis, you only need one form.
Alternative Physician Certification Form. Use this form if you require more than the standard four ounces and remember that you’re required to submit 2 of these forms.
Parent/Legal Guardian Consent Form. If you’re a caregiver or a parent applying for a minor, this is the form you must fill out and submit along with the Physician Certification Form.
Patient Authorization Form. If you’re an applying caregiver, you need this form and the patient’s license number (received once the application is approved). Every patient’s license number begins with PAT.
Missouri Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis
Missouri has a relatively liberal list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis, which is exactly what the voters wanted. There were two other more conservative cannabis legalization measures that would have excluded a majority of the Missouri population. But thanks to Amendment 2, the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana includes (but is not limited to):
- Any terminal illness
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Debilitating psychiatric disorders (If diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist)
- Huntington’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Intractable migraines (unresponsive to other treatment)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (If diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Wasting syndrome
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Chronic health conditions that are normally treated with prescription medications that could lead to psychological or physical dependence when a state-licensed physician determines that the use of medical marijuana could be effective in the treatment of that condition.
- Chronic pain and health conditions that cause persistent muscle spasms or severe, persistent pain.
- Any other debilitating or chronic medical condition that can be treated with the medical use of marijuana (in the professional judgment of a licensed physician).
Registration Process for a Medical Cannabis Card in Missouri
After getting the physician certification, you should scan or photograph it and upload it to the health department website when submitting your application. The application also requires personal information, such as name, date of birth, mailing address, and SSN (Social Security Number). You must submit a legible copy of a state-issued photo ID and a color photograph of your face taken within the last three months.
Qualified patients who have made it through these first steps of obtaining a medical marijuana card have 30 days to register and apply for it with the state of Missouri. To register, visit the State of Missouri government website and click on the Patient/Caregiver Application Registration button. Once there, you will need to provide a government-issued identification (i.e., state ID, passport, or driver’s license) and a proof of Missouri residency (i.e., IRS letter, vehicle registration, utility bill). If you don’t have any of these documents, the health department might accept some other proof, but that entirely depends on them (be sure to ask before proceeding with your application).
Fill out the questionnaire in its entirety, double-check to make sure you provided accurate information, and you are ready to submit.
It takes up to 30 days for the department to process your application, so all that’s left to do is sit back and wait. After uploading your application, you will receive an electronic notification about your application’s status (usually within 48 hours). The Missouri health department only accepts applications that are submitted via the online registry.
The entire process of obtaining a marijuana card costs no more than $175 in total. Also, physical cards are not provided. Once your application is approved, you should log into your Missouri Medical Marijuana Program Registry account, download a copy of your medical marijuana card, and print it out.
What Does a Medical Marijuana Card Do?
A qualifying marijuana card will allow you to enter any licensed medical marijuana dispensary in the state of Missouri and purchase and consume medical marijuana in accordance with Missouri law. The law requires primary caregivers and patients to have their medical marijuana card when in possession or purchasing medical marijuana. Also, Missouri medical marijuana laws require that an individual cannot possess more than a 60-day supply of dried cannabis flower or equivalent (unless permitted with a certification from two independent medical marijuana doctors).
One of the reasons Missouri residents are getting their medical marijuana cards so soon (since July 2019) is because they want to begin cultivating their own marijuana plants. Missouri cannabis patients are allowed to grow their own plants if they pay $100 for a cultivation license and their cultivation area qualifies.
As for individuals with a patient license, they are anxious and impatient to be ready when the first marijuana dispensaries open. They want to overcome any hurdles (like problems processing their cards or delays) as soon as possible.
Mind that state-licensed dispensaries in Missouri can only accept medical cards issued by the state of Missouri. According to Section 5-1 of Amendment 2, an individual who has an equivalent authorization or identification card issued by another state will not be subject to arrest under Missouri law for possession of cannabis in amounts less than the limits for qualified Missouri patients.
The sales of medical cannabis in Missouri was expected to begin early-to-mid October but is still on hold. Some dispensaries have flipped on their open sign, but they are only selling products such as hemp flower (looks like cannabis, but acts like CBD) and gear like herb grinders, storage containers, and vaporizers. Missouri dispensary owners are doing this to try things out before the sales begin and make sure that everything is functional before day one.
Missouri Health and Wellness (MH&W) is a state-licensed company that offers patients access to premium-quality medical marijuana products for treating a range of health conditions. When it comes to medical cannabis cards (Green Cards), we have teamed up with Midwest Cannabinoid Clinics (MCC) to help Missouri medical marijuana patients who need to get their medical cannabis certification. Anyone interested in getting their Missouri medical cannabis patient card can visit the MHW Dispensaries website and request a consultation with our partner, Midwest Cannabinoid Clinics.