Beginning on December 8, 2022, Missouri adults can legally possess cannabis. It is expected that cultivation and retail sales could begin in February 2023.
“December 8 is a historic date for Missourians. Most of the 20,000 annual marijuana arrests in our state will end on that date. Instead, adults will be able to legally possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis, and soon will also have the option to grow up to 18 plants or purchase cannabis products tested for purity and potency from licensed retailers,” said Dan Viets, co-author of Amendment 3, Missouri NORML Coordinator and Chair of the Amendment 3 Advisory Board.
On the same date, Missouri will begin reviewing records for expungement. All misdemeanors must be expunged within 6 months and all eligible felonies within 12 months. Expungements will be automatic for convictions for 3 pounds or less.
The measure allows adults to possess up to three ounces of cannabis and to home-cultivate up to six flowering plants, six immature plants, and six plants under 14 inches for their own personal use.
The measure also seeks to broaden participation in the licensed cannabis marketplace by including small business owners and those representing disadvantaged populations, including those with limited capital, residents of high-poverty communities, service-disabled veterans, and those who have been previously convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses.
Additionally, the initiative makes some improvements to the state’s existing medical marijuana access program.
Missouri’s announcement to legalize adult-use marijuana can be expected to apply pressure on neighboring states to consider their own legal inclusions for recreational cannabis. Missouri may now serve as a geographical flagship to connect the legal green belt from coast to coast.