ST. LOUIS — Missouri voters approved Constitutional Amendment 3.
The amendment proposed the legalization of the sale of recreational marijuana and the automatic expungement of criminal records for certain marijuana-related offenses. It would also establish regulations for Missouri's recreational marijuana industry.
The amendment will take effect in December, and the earliest businesses could sell recreational marijuana products would be February 2023.
Amendment 3 legalizes the recreational sale of marijuana in Missouri to those aged 21 and older. Missouri residents will also be able to apply for registration cards to grow a limited amount of their own plants at home.
People could still be fined for smoking in public. Individual municipalities could also elect to bar recreational marijuana dispensaries from operating by a public vote.
The amendment allows for the automatic expungement of certain non-violent marijuana offenses from people's criminal records.
It won’t expunge offenses for DUIs or selling to a minor. Those currently serving time for marijuana offenses that qualify for expungement would not be automatically released but would be able to petition for release, which would have to be adjudicated within a timeline set by the amendment.
Cannabis sales will be taxed at 6% of the retail price at the state level, with local municipalities given the ability to tax an additional 3%. It's expected to generate millions in yearly revenue.
The amendment creates a lottery process for a limited amount of business licenses, which would be equally divided among congressional districts. It also would establish microbusiness licenses, which have qualifications for an application that prioritize low-income and disadvantaged applicants.
The amendment was backed by Legal Missouri 2022, which gathered more than 390,000 signatures to get it on the Nov. 8 ballot.