Missouri and Utah became the 31st and 32nd states to legalize marijuana for medical use on Nov. 6. The vote in Utah was somewhat anticlimactic, since a compromise bill was already approved in October regarding medical marijuana use, but the approval was a statement about public opinion nonetheless.
The compromise bill still has to be approved by a full vote in the state Legislature and signed by the governor. However, the bill is a step forward for patients who believe marijuana will be an effective treatment. It will allow the use of marijuana for various medical conditions, will rename dispensaries to pharmacies and will require a licensed pharmacist on site and it will ban edibles and smoking the drug.
Meanwhile, Proposition 2 allows medical patients to consume edibles, vape marijuana, and consume the drug in other ways, after they have received medical marijuana cards from their doctor’s office. The patients do have to suffer from a very specific list of conditions, including HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. Only those patients who live more than 100 miles from a dispensary will be able to grow their own cannabis, and they will be permitted to grow six plants.
The system for licensing and regulation was also set up by the approval of Proposition 2. However, these stipulations will be subject to change based on the compromise bill already approved and making its way through the legislature.
Missouri’s vote approved Amendment 2 by a rate of 66 to 34%. The amendment permits patients who receive special cards from their medical provider to grow as many as six cannabis plants. They will also be allowed to purchase a maximum of four ounces of cannabis from a dispensary each month.
The law will allow doctors to recommend marijuana for any condition, as there are no specified conditions covered under the legislation. Meanwhile, licenses will be issued to dispensaries and to businesses that seek to test, cultivate and infuse products with marijuana.
The Missouri law puts a 4% tax on medical cannabis sales, with the intent of that income going to help the state’s veterans.