Consequences of Getting a Medical Card in Missouri

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Benefits of Having a Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri

Obtaining a Missouri medical marijuana card comes with certain benefits such as:

Legal Protection

Missouri Constitution, Article XIV, provides legal protection for medical marijuana cardholders in the state. Registered medical cannabis patients are protected from civil and/or criminal penalties or prosecution for possessing and purchasing medical cannabis within state limits. They are also protected against arrest or prosecution for growing marijuana plants at home. Missouri requires medical marijuana cardholders to always hold their medical marijuana cards when they are in possession of cannabis. While recreational marijuana is legal in the state, persons under 21 years in possession of marijuana without medical marijuana cards face up to 1 year imprisonment and fines of up to $2,000.

Lower Prices

The price of medical marijuana is lower than the price of recreational marijuana in Missouri due to different tax rates. The sales tax on medical marijuana is 4%, while a 6% sales tax is imposed on recreational marijuana purchases.

Higher Purchase and/or Possession Limits

Medical marijuana cardholders in Missouri can purchase and possess up to 6 ounces of marijuana, which is twice the possession limits for recreational cannabis consumers. Missouri’s law permits medical marijuana patients to possess more than 6 ounces if recommended by their physicians.

Access for Minors

Missouri allows qualifying patients under 18 years to possess and consume medical marijuana, provided their parents or legal guardians give consent. Medical marijuana patients between 18 and 21 years do not require parental consent to purchase and possess medical cannabis. However, Missouri residents under the age of 21 without medical cannabis cards are prohibited from purchasing and possessing cannabis.

Reciprocity

Missouri medical marijuana cardholders can possess and/or buy their marijuana medication from some states that allow medical marijuana reciprocity. They can use their Missouri medical marijuana cards in Arkansas, Hawaii, Nevada, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington DC, and West Virginia. However, they may only possess as much marijuana as is legally permitted in those states.

Downsides of Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri

Some downsides of having a medical marijuana card in Missouri are:

Firearm Prohibition

Although Missouri enacted House Bill 85 to protect the rights of residents to own guns, medical marijuana patients cannot legally purchase guns from firearms dealers. The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits controlled substance users, including medical marijuana users, from purchasing firearms in the U.S. Persons interested in purchasing firearms from licensed dealers in Missouri must fill out Form 4473, which queries their marijuana use. Lying on the form is a felony offense that can lead to imprisonment in federal prison.

Driving Restrictions

Article 14 of the Missouri Constitution does not permit medical marijuana patients to drive while under the influence of cannabis. Missouri does not have an allowable legal blood THC limit for drivers. However, a medical marijuana cardholder can be arrested and prosecuted for driving under the influence of drugs if law enforcement officers believe the driver is impaired. The punishments for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Missouri include up to 6 months of incarceration, a fine of up to $500, and driver’s license suspension for first-time offenders. Subsequent offenses attract more severe penalties. In addition, a medical marijuana patient cannot apply for a commercial driving license (CDL), as commercial vehicle drivers are subject to federal laws.

Annual Renewal

A Missouri medical cannabis card is valid for 3 years, and a medical marijuana cardholder must renew it before it expires. Missouri medical marijuana cardholders must be evaluated and certified by healthcare providers before they can renew their medical marijuana cards. However, patients who cannot be available for in-person evaluation can be recertified for medical cannabis via telemedicine.

The cost of renewing a Missouri medical marijuana card is determined yearly by the percentage change of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as published by the U.S. Department of Labor. It currently costs $26.50 to renew a Missouri medical marijuana card. Similarly, it currently costs $53 to renew a medical marijuana cultivation identification card. In addition, cardholders must pay healthcare providers for medical marijuana evaluation and certification. This may cost between $150 and $200.

Employment Restrictions

Per Article 14 of the Missouri Constitution, employers can terminate the employment of medical marijuana cardholders if they are found to be under the influence of medical marijuana during working hours and/or on work premises. Employers have the right to maintain a drug-free environment and may deny medical marijuana cardholders certain positions. However, a Missouri medical marijuana registration is not a public record and will not show up in a background check. Conversely, failing a drug test is not a sufficient reason to discipline a medical cannabis patient in the workplace unless the employee was found working under the influence of cannabis. In addition, a Missouri medical marijuana cardholder cannot be a federal employee as cannabis remains illegal at the federal level.

Federal Prohibitions

Missouri medical cannabis cardholders cannot apply for federal employment opportunities, and federal employees in Missouri are prohibited from registering for Missouri medical marijuana cards. Similarly, Missouri residents living in federally subsidized housing are banned from cultivating or consuming cannabis on the premises of such housing units. Also, they are prohibited from using or possessing marijuana on other federal lands in the state.

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