UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — In just one week Missourians 21 years and older will be able to buy marijuana without a medical card.
But there are some cities that are still working to change ordinances that technically only allow for the sale of medical marijuana.
This could impact some dispensaries, but most experts say it’s kind of a gray area and legally the constitution is the deciding factor allowing them to sell as soon as they have a comprehensive license.
For weeks Star Buds Dispensary Owner Chris Chesley has been preparing to open his doors to thousands more customers looking to buy recreational marijuana products.
“Talking with vendors, transporters, making sure everything's going to be ready, running smoothly. Definitely staffing up. We've almost doubled our staff,” Chesley said.
Chesley owns two dispensaries one in Festus and one in University City.
The transition to sell both recreational and medical products also involves working with cities to change ordinances.
“When most municipalities wrote their ordinances, they specifically put in medical marijuana. And now that we're going to have comprehensive licenses and recreational sales, we need to adjust those ordinances to make sure that all the dispensaries are operating within the correct ordinances for the city,” Chesley said.
He says in Festus they’ve already completed the process, but U-City may take a little more time. It’s just another thing to keep in mind as most cities in the St. Louis area are going through this process.
“There are some municipalities that are just kind of saying, ‘Hey, go ahead. We'll get this updated. We're working on it. We all know that this is where we're going to end up.’ And then there are other municipalities that are very weary of doing that and want to make sure that every process is taken correctly and gone through,” Chesley said.
Missouri NORML Attorney Dan Viets said legally cities can’t stop dispensaries from selling recreational pot on Feb. 6 as long as they have a state comprehensive license.
“Article 14 specifically says that no local government can enact any ordinance which would place an undue burden on the operation of those facilities. And attempting to stop them from operating would certainly be an undue burden,” Viets said.
Some dispensaries may choose to not immediately begin selling recreational products on Feb. 6 or may not have the state license just yet so really, it’s best to check with the store directly before showing up.
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