Marijuana got off to a bad start in the Show-Me state. In fact, Missouri marijuana laws were so harsh back then that in the 1970s, anybody caught selling pot to those under 18 could get the death penalty while second possession meant life imprisonment. Thankfully enough, the state barely spent on the enforcement of these unreasonable laws.
While things did get better towards the end of the century, Missouri is still way behind in terms of marijuana reform. The state did decriminalize possession of small amounts but chose to stop in 2018 at legalizing medical marijuana. This is at a time when other states were already legalizing recreational use. Today, penalties under Missouri marijuana laws remain relatively tough as you will later see in this article.
Nevertheless, Missouri’s cannabis policy is moving forward, albeit at a glacial pace. In July 2020, the state opened its first-ever cannabis growing facility in Earth City. The facility is expecting to harvest around 10,000 pounds per year to be distributed to dispensaries and processed into various cannabis products.
There are also three initiatives for recreational marijuana that are hoping to get into the November ballot this year: Legal Missouri, Fair Access Missouri and Cannabis Patient Network. Legal Missouri’s initiative is particularly notable since it may have the broadest expungement provision in the country. In addition to this, there are a number of smaller proposals focusing on the expungement law from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
For now, Missourians will have to settle for growing medical marijuana which means those without a qualifying debilitating condition are out of luck. Let’s see what patients and their caregivers are allowed to do under Missouri marijuana laws.
Overview of Cannabis Growing Laws in Missouri
Like most other states that allow medical cannabis, Missouri marijuana laws permit registered patients and caregivers to:
- Grow up to 6 mature plants. However, this will cost the patient $100 per year. The law also allows growers to keep 6 more plants that are still in their vegetative state and 6 more clones or seedlings below 14 inches tall.
- Only 12 plants are allowed per location, even if there are more than 2 patients living there. The only instance where 18 plants can be grown in each phase at a single location is if one of the patients also has a caregiver ID.
- Furthermore, these plants have to be grown in a locked space away from public view.
This was last updated in June 2020. We will be updating this guide with new developments that may come out.
Punishments for Violating Missouri Home Grow Laws
Cultivating without a medical marijuana card in Missouri will get you into serious trouble. Penalties for cultivation are based on the weight of the plants and what the law is clear about is:
- Growing less than 35 grams of cannabis is a Class E felony punishable by up to 4 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.
- Growing 35 grams or more is a Class C felony punishable by a 3 to 10-year prison sentence and a fine of $10,000.
History of marijuana in Missouri
Missouri marijuana laws used to be one of the strictest in the US back in the 1970s. This was not surprising given that the federal government’s War on Drugs and the Controlled Substances Act also began around this time. Things did not change for several decades and patients who needed marijuana for their conditions still had to go to Colorado, risking sneaking in their medication every time.
Missouri finally got the ball rolling in 2014 when it reduced the penalties for possession, sale, and cultivation of pot. Prior to this, a number of major cities such as Columbia, Springfield, and St. Louis, have already made significant reforms to their marijuana policy. This may have contributed to the state’s decision to partially decriminalize cannabis. Unfortunately, these laws have not yet moved since but some cities like St. Louis are toying with the idea of recreational legalization.
As of now, only medical marijuana is legal. Under Amendment 2 which was approved in 2018, patients are allowed to cultivate up to 6 plants and buy 4 ounces per month.
Growing medical marijuana in Missouri
Patients with qualifying medical conditions and caregivers looking to cultivate medical marijuana must first register with the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services. Application is strictly online, walk-in’s or mailing your application is not allowed. Here’s are the documents you’ll need to submit for your application:
- Proof of Missouri residency. This can be any of the following:
- Driver’s license
- Missouri ID card
- Motor vehicle registration
- Utility bill
- A completed Physician certification form. Patients needing more than 4 oz per month need to submit two Alternative Physician Certification forms from two different physicians.
- A copy of a state or federal government-issued ID
- A completed Parent/Legal guardian consent form for minor patients.
- A clear photo of the patient
Patients may have up to 2 caregivers and caregivers may have up to 3 patients. Caregivers will also have to submit a Patient Authorization form in addition to the other requirements. While the application fee for patients and caregivers is just $25, there is also a cultivation fee of $100.
Marijuana home cultivation laws outside of Missouri
How does Missouri’s marijuana laws compare with home growing laws in other US states? Check out our post on Marijuana Growing Laws in the United States.
FAQs about growing marijuana in Missouri
No, it is illegal to grow recreational cannabis at home in Missouri.
Growing recreational cannabis in Missouri is a felony.
Yes, registered patients and their caregivers may legally grow medical cannabis in Missouri.
Registered patients and their caregivers may grow up to 6 mature plants, 6 immature ones and 6 more clones or seedlings below 14 inches tall.
On your property, in a locked space where your plants can be kept away from public view.
Patients need to be at least 18 years old and caregivers at least 21 to legally grow medical marijuana in Missouri. The only exception would be patients who are at least 18 years old and have been emancipated.
For now, pot smokers will have to go to neighboring states like Oklahoma to enjoy without fear of the law. Since weed is only partially decriminalized under Missouri marijuana laws, carrying even under 10 ounces can get you a $500 fine. Now if you want to set up a discreet home grow, you can always buy your seeds online. It’s certainly less risky than sneaking in weed from neighboring states.
Meanwhile, even if you’re a patient or caregiver, you should also make sure to keep these rules in mind:
- Never, ever sell your marijuana.
- Do not give marijuana to a minor unless you are the parent or legal guardian of a registered minor patient.
- Never consume in public.
- Always keep your marijuana plants locked and away from public view.