Amendment 3 is added to the Missouri Constitution on Thursday, following a close race in the general election last month. The amendment legalizes recreational, adult-use marijuana and expunges some non-violent marijuana-related offenses.
In its entirety, the amendment will:
Remove state prohibitions on purchasing, possessing, consuming, using, delivering, manufacturing and selling marijuana for personal use for adults over 21;
Require a registration card for personal cultivation with prescribed limits;
Allow persons with certain marijuana-related non-violent offenses to petition for release from incarceration or parole and probation and have records cleared;
Establish a lottery selection process to award licenses and certificates;
Issue equally distributed licenses to each congressional district;
Impose a 6% tax on the retail price of marijuana to benefit various programs.
Though Amendment 3 is added to the constitution this week, Missourians won't be impacted by the majority of its legislation until next year. At the earliest, recreational marijuana will be available for purchase in February. And though some non-violent marijuana offenses will be automatically expunged this week, this isn't the case for all.
Recreational marijuana will be available for purchase after February
The earliest recreational marijuana will be available to Missourians who are 21 and up is February 2023.
Pre-established medical marijuana facilities will have the opportunity to convert their licenses to comprehensive marijuana facility licenses, meaning they can cultivate or sell both medical and recreational marijuana. The Department of Health and Senior Services must begin awarding these license conversions by Feb. 6, 2023.
Recreational marijuana dispensaries may open after September 2023
Aside from medical marijuana facilities that are converted to comprehensive marijuana facilities, DHSS must license at least two comprehensive marijuana dispensaries in each of the state's eight congressional districts, initially. These dispensaries will begin receiving licenses to sell recreational marijuana on Sept. 4, 2023.
Personal cultivation registration card applications will be available in January
Missourians who are 21 and up may begin cultivating their own recreational marijuana as early as Feb. 2023.
Public application instructions and forms for personal cultivation registration cards will be available through DHSS by Jan. 7, 2023. Within the following 30 days, the department will begin accepting these applications.
Applicants must pay an initial $100 application fee. If granted, cards are valid for one year and are renewable.
With a personal cultivation registration card, one person can cultivate up to six flowering marijuana plants, six non-flowering marijuana plants and six clones (plants under 14 inches tall) for non-commercial use. No dried, unprocessed marijuana or marijuana-infused products made from the cultivated plants are allowed to be sold by an individual without a marijuana dispensary license.
Timeline for expungement of marijuana-related offenses
Under Amendment 3, individuals with certain non-violent marijuana-related offenses will have their records automatically expunged, as soon as it is added to the constitution. But this isn't the case for everyone.
Here's what the timeline looks like:
By July 2023, the state's circuit courts will expunge the criminal records of individuals with misdemeanor marijuana offenses who are no longer incarcerated or under department of corrections supervision.
By December 2023, the criminal records of individuals who are no longer incarcerated or under department of corrections supervision but have completed their sentence for any felony marijuana offenses will be cleared.
The state's circuit courts will expunge the criminal records of individuals with class A, class B, class C or class D felony offenses for possession of more than three pounds or marijuana once they have completed their incarceration, including supervised probation or parole.
The earliest folks may be released from incarceration is March
Release dates for folks with non-violent marijuana-related offenses is dependent on the severity of one's offense.
By March 2023, sentencing courts will have completed the adjudications for all cases involving misdemeanor marijuana offenses.
By June 2023, sentencing courts will have completed the adjudications for all cases involving class E felony, or successor designation, marijuana offenses.
By September 2023, sentencing courts will have completed the adjudications for all cases involving class D felony, or successor designation, marijuana offenses.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Recreational marijuana will soon be added to Missouri constitution