SPRINGFIELD — What this means going forward, and when patients may have access.
Missouri’s medical marijuana amendment officially went into effect Thursday after voters approved it in November’s election.
You can’t get access just yet, but this is the start to the process.
Chip Sheppard is a board member for Missouri Cannabis Trade (MOCANN). They are working with the Department of Health, as well as the Governor’s office to get the amendment implemented.
He says today the effective date is a landmark for future deadlines to be met by state offices to get things rolling.
“All the deadlines that are in the amendment are triggered by the effective date. So for example, the applications have to be ready for people to pickup from the department of health a certain number of days after the effective date. the Department of Health has to start accepting applications that have been filled out by a certain number days after the effective date,” says Sheppard.
That goes for patients, and those who wish to get into the business. Sheppard says with all deadlines considered, the hope is that patients will have access by late next year, or early 2020.
“We have a very good department of health and I think the Governors office is going to be real supportive on trying to make sure that this is a controlled product, and that this is rolled out as fast as possible in a responsible way. So, I think we’re still good on those dates,” says Sheppard.
“I’ve been doing authorization for medical cannabis in the state of Washington for about 10 years.”
Dr. Gil Mobley has a clinic in Springfield, but he has been doing authorization for medical cannabis in the state of Washington for about 10 years. He is very experienced on how the medical marijuana industry has trended nationwide.
Mobley estimates that the target date for the state to implement it is likely a pipe dream.
“Well the state says within about a year, January 2020, when everything’s in place, but realistically, no state has done this in a year — period,” says Mobley.
While he expects it to happen eventually, Dr. Mobley says there are a number of hurdles that need to be cleared, like agriculture, transportation, manufacturing.
“That takes time. Then they have to be put in to rules and regulations. Then they can roll out the paper work. That ain’t gonna happen in a year,” says Mobley.
Of course, you must have a qualifying condition and authorization from a doctor to be prescribed.
Dr. Mobley says patients need to make sure they have things in a row on their end, and he will hold seminars next month to educate folks in what is to come as those deadlines approach.
KOLR10 has been the Ozarks leader on reporting this issue, and you can find a lot of things we have reported on this past year on this topic.
To find out what the qualifying conditions are, as well as deadlines, rules and regulations for patients, manufacturers, and cultivators, you can find that information here.