ST. LOUIS — Starting Thursday, recreational marijuana use, and possession will be officially legal in Missouri.
This comes after voters passed constitutional Amendment 3, now known as Article 14, in November.
Although marijuana will be legal to have and use recreationally in Missouri Thursday, it does not mean it’s time to rush to the dispensary.
“What's important to understand about Dec. 8 is, it is the day the arrests will stop. It is the date it will no longer be against the law for adults in the state of Missouri to possess up to three ounces of marijuana,” Missouri NORML Attorney Dan Viets said.
Soon dispensaries, like Star Buds in University City which already sell medical marijuana, will be able to sell recreational products as well, if they apply for a comprehensive license.
“We're guessing it's going to be about Feb. 8. The state said it could be a little bit sooner. But until then, we will be just accepting the Missouri patient cards,” Star Buds Owner Chris Chesley said.
Chesley said under Article 14 of the Missouri Constitution, if you have a medical marijuana card, then you have protection from being denied a job or being discriminated against at work.
“The medical card benefits are a lower tax rate. We will be prioritizing medical patients over recreational customers. The medical cards will go from one year expiration to three years,” Chesley said.
But it doesn’t mean you can use or possess it everywhere in Missouri.
Marijuana is not allowed in buildings and properties in the University of Missouri System, and it’s best to check on the rules wherever you’re going.
“The university has also had to follow many federal laws, two of which are the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act and the Drug-Free Workplace Act," Christian Basi, director of media relations for the University of Missouri System, said.
"Both of those federal laws require the university to have a policy that prohibits various drugs, including marijuana, on the campuses at all times,” Basi said.
Chesley said they are happy to answer questions about medical cards and recreational use and expect to be answering the state’s questions on Thursday to continue the comprehensive license process.