A medical marijuana card, within medically legal states, is the first step towards purchasing cannabis. This requires seeing a doctor first to receive authorization. You may see a physician from home in a private, online consultation with HelloMD, or with a physician in person. Note many physicians are inexperienced with cannabis and may be hesitant to approve cannabis authorizations. It’s for this reason that Telehealth services such as HelloMD exist.
Your medical card is not actually a physical card, it’s more an official piece of paper you’ll download and bring with you whenever you’re purchasing cannabis. It’s still federally illegal to cross any state lines with cannabis, and even in a legal state, we suggest keeping your unopened cannabis products in the trunk of your car when traveling home from the dispensary.
Who Can Get a Medical Card in Missouri
A medical cannabis patient in Missouri must be at least 18, with established residency (at least one year) in Missouri. Missouri minors with qualifying conditions are also eligible for the medical marijuana program, but require a parent or legal guardian, 21+ years old, to act as caregiver.
Legal-age patients may also designate a caregiver to procure medical marijuana on the patient’s behalf. A patient may have up to three caregivers. Caregivers and patients must fill out the official Patient Authorization Form.
First Step: See a Doctor for a Consultation in Missouri
As a medical marijuana patient (or caregiver, if you’ve been designated) you’ll need to see a physician in good standing (MD or DO) to be certified with a qualifying condition.
Your doctor will discuss your symptoms, as well as any potential risks associated with cannabis, and then fill out a Physician Certification Form, certifying your condition. The physician will use one of two certification forms: the Physician Certification Form, which authorizes you (or caregiver) to purchase up to four-ounces of cannabis per month, or, the Physician Certification Form with Recommended Amount, on which the physician may authorize more than four ounces.
Not sure how four ounces translates to concentrates or infused products? The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DOHSS) has a handy tool for breaking down your cannabis products into Missouri Marijuana Equivalency Units, or MMEs. A certified medical cannabis patient may legally purchase 32 MMEs per month. For reference, 1 MME equals 3.5 grams of cannabis flower, one gram of concentrate, or 100mg of THC-infused edibles.
Second Step: Register with the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program
Within thirty days of receiving the Physician Certification Form, you must sign up for an account on the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program portal.
Once your account is created on the portal, you sign in and follow the prompts to complete the application. The DOHSS has put together several easy-to-follow tutorials, including this User Guide, complete with screenshots to help navigate the process.
If the physician has uploaded the Physician Certification Form electronically, the system will automatically populate it and you won’t have to upload it. If however, the physician has not submitted electronically, you’ll be prompted to upload the certification.
As a patient you will also be prompted to upload further documents:
- A recent digital photo
- Proof of residency (valid Missouri Driver’s license, a Missouri ID Card
- A current Missouri utility bill, or a Missouri motor vehicle registration)
- Additionally, parents/legal guardians will need to upload a Parent/Legal Guardian Consent Form and proof of legal guardianship.
The DOHSS also has tips on uploading documents
There is a minimal $25 state fee for your annual patient license. Once your application is complete, the DOHSS will process it within thirty days. You’ll be informed when it is approved and then may log in and download an official Missouri Medical Marijuana document. If for some reason, the application is rejected, you will be able to log in again to make necessary changes to the application.
Step Three: Purchasing Medical Cannabis in Missouri
Once you have your valid Missouri patient license, you’re ready to visit a dispensary to purchase cannabis. To enter the dispensary, you’ll most likely need your patient (or caregiver) license, a valid, Missouri-issued photo ID, and a form of payment.
It’s important to know that since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, and credit card companies are often and sometimes suddenly shut down. Check the dispensary’s website, or call ahead to make sure you’ll have everything you need, including acceptable methods of payment.
Welcome to the wonderful world of cannabis!
The Midwest: the Changing Landscape of Legalization (in Missouri & beyond…)
In the ever-changing landscape of cannabis legalization, Missouri is taking its place as one of the more progressive middle states. In 2014, Missouri SB 491 passed, decriminalizing possession of up to ten grams of marijuana, with a first-offense infraction punishable by a $500 fine and no jail time. Of the seven states bordering Missouri, Illinois and Nebraska are the only two that have also decriminalized cannabis possession. Illinois enacted adult use in 2020, and Missouri has veering towards full legalization in 2022.
In November, 2018, Missouri voters passed Amendment 2 – the Medical Marijuana and Veteran Healthcare Service Initiative, named for the 4% tax on cannabis sales earmarked for veterans through the Missouri Veterans Health and Care Fund. Backed by New Approach Missouri, Amendment 2 passed with 65% of voters in favor of medical cannabis legalization. In October 2020, Missouri officially rolled out its medical cannabis program.
Need Your Medical Marijuana Card?
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