2020-21 Improvements and Recommendations

Despite the approval of Amendment 2 in the 2018 election, Missouri regulators and industry have been slow to fully implement the program. At the beginning of 2021, roughly 260 of the 370 cannabis entities awarded operating licenses required an extension because they were unable to open within one year of receiving their license. However, despite this delay, the program is beginning to operate in full swing. Regulators report more businesses are opening, which not only ensures that patients have access to a dispensary, but also that the cost of medicine is going down while product selection and availability increase.

In the upcoming legislative session, Missouri lawmakers should prioritize individual patient rights like DUID protections, employment protections, and housing protections for individuals complying with the law. Lawmakers should also focus on policies that would make medical cannabis and the associated costs, like registration, more affordable for people in the state. ASA recommends ending the patient registration fee, or at the very least, instituting financial hardship waivers and discounts to ensure that any patient in the state can access the medicine they need, regardless of their ability to pay for bureaucratic processes.