History of Cannabis and CBD: Missouri
Although state government has been slow to enact reform, Missouri cities have been historically quick to push for cannabis legalization and decriminalization. In an informal poll, the mayor of St. Louis demonstrated that over 90 percent of his constituents were in support of full legalization.
As more residents have pushed for increasing cannabis support, state government has witnessed a slow yet promising policy shift.
Cannabis, CBD, and Missouri
Currently, cannabis is illegal for both recreational use. However, partial decriminalization was achieved as early as 2014.
Senate Bill 491 was among the first to lessen the penalties for marijuana related offenses. For first time offenders, jail time and the threat of a criminal record were slashed. Interestingly, the bill eliminated the ban on probation for repeat offenders, which has allowed many former drug offenders an opportunity to rehabilitate their life more easily.
Despite these advancements, carrying more than ten grams of cannabis is still considered a misdemeanor, which could result in a prison sentence and hefty fines. In this sense, decriminalization has not yet been fully achieved by the state, in part due to the conservative bent of the legislature.
Following decriminalization efforts, CBD oil crafted from industrially certified hemp was made fully legal under the Medical Marijuana Bill. The Department of Agriculture now has the ability to fund and vet research concerning CBD.
There are only two fully authorized sellers in Missouri that both source to medical marijuana dispensaries. However, it’s exceedingly easy for most consumers to find online and in-store access to CBD, since law enforcers have never cracked down on businesses.
In a shocking vote, over 66 percent of Missouri residents voted in favor of a ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana use. Consumers should keep in mind that the new policy has not been implemented yet by the state, making It technically illegal for patients to consume marijuana for medical purposes.
Some residents are worried that no medical marijuana dispensaries will be licensed over the following years. The state’s inactivity in equipping regulatory institutions with the ability to vet dispensaries remains concerning for cannabis advocates.
Aside from statewide reform, municipal decisions have played a major role in the legal landscape of Missouri. Columbia, Springfield, and St. Louis have all passed major decriminalization resolutions since the early 2000s.
It remains to be seen how cannabis law will continue to shift throughout the state. Powerful actors, such as conservative Senate members and key local court actors, continue to exert an influence that dissuades full cannabis legalization.