So you think Medical Marijuana might be right for you, or maybe you’ve been medicating with Cannabis for years and would like to have legal protections. In either case we’re here to help. In 2018 Missouri voters passed a ballot initiative that legalized Cannabis (Marijuana) for qualifying patients, but figuring out the laws and how to get a card can be confusing. The first step is understanding if you qualify.
Do you qualify for Medical Marijuana in Missouri?
Yes. Yes you do. Cannabis directly treats or treats the symptoms of many illnesses and diseases. Our Medical Marijuana law was designed to make sure potential patients have access to Cannabis as an alternative treatment for almost any condition, including but not limited to:
- Intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment
- A chronic medical condition that causes severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome
- Debilitating psychiatric disorders, including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress order, if diagnosed by a state licensed psychiatrist
- Human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medications that could lead to physical or psychological dependence, when a physician determines that medical use of marijuana could be effective in treating that condition and would serve as a safer alternative to the prescription medication
- A terminal illness
- In the professional judgment of a physician, any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition, including, but not limited to, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, and wasting syndrome.
Two of the most important are “A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medications” and “In the professional judgment of a physician, any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition” which essentially leaves the decision to your physicians discretion.
It is important to note that DHSS has made it harder for those with mental illness to qualify for Medical Marijuana in Missouri. Your diagnosis has to come from a board certified psychiatrist, which makes things difficult when the majority of depression and anxiety patients are treated by their family physician. Most Cannabis friendly doctors are not psychiatrists so this may feel limiting, however, as we said above Cannabis treats a wide variety of ailments. You only need one to qualify as a patient. While qualifying for your anxiety disorder may be difficult, qualifying for your knee pain will not be.
How do you find a doctor?
Your family physician most likely isn’t going to write you a recommendation for Medical Marijuana. Some may worry about malpractice lawsuits and irregularities with federal law. Some may not be fully educated about Cannabis. Either way the chances are high you will have to visit a doctor that has decided to specialize in Cannabis recommendations. This can be difficult depending on where in Missouri you live as most of the clinics are in the cities and bigger areas of the state. Thankfully some Cannabis doctors do Telehealth visits which allow you to have your visit from the comfort of your own computer. There are many ways to find a list of these doctors. WeedMaps is an app that will help you locate a doctor as well as dispensaries when they open. You can also Google “Medical Marijuana Recommendations in Missouri” and see what you find. To help you I have started our own list of providers in Missouri. It is not a paid list, meaning no one paid us to list them. It is just of list of providers I have found over my time researching our program. Prices will vary depending on provider and services rendered. I have seen as low as $50 and as high as $250.
Elevate Holistics can get you certified for $75 and has a strong reputation with its customers, but there are many clinics out there to choose from. Use your own due diligence when searching for a provider.
Once you find a clinic you will need to make an appointment. Some doctors may require medical records while some doctors may not. Our law does not require a physician to review medical records to write a recommendation. It is up to their discretion.
Your doctor will review your medical history with you at your appointment and ask you some required questions. At the end of your appointment your doctor will write and sign your recommendation if they think Cannabis may help you. Most will send you a digital copy to your email address. Congratulations! You are halfway through.
Applying with the State of Missouri
Now that you have your recommendation you will need to put in your application to the state. To do that you will visit the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and click the big blue button that says “Patient-Caregiver Application/Registration”.
If you are applying to cultivate at home the application fee will be just over $100. If you are just applying for a patients license to possess and purchase your application fee will be a little over $25. These fees are paid annually as you must reapply every year.
Things you will need:
- Proof of residency
- Your doctors recommendation
- Picture ID
- A photo of yourself (against a wall similar to your divers license
After you upload the required info and pay your fee your application will be processed. It can take anywhere from 48 hours up to 30 days to receive your approval. Your approval will come by email. You can also check the portal used to apply with the state to see if you’ve been approved.
Once approved you will be able to download your card from the portal.
It looks like this:
That’s it! You are a legal Medical Marijuana patient in the state of Missouri. Medicate responsibly. It is also your responsibility to know and understand the laws that protect you. I will be adding more information to this site to better help you understand them as well, so keep checking back.