With petitions circulating and bills being discussed, cannabis advocates are currently pushing for Missouri recreational weed to be placed on the November 2022 ballot. After years of fighting for the right to recreational marijuana Missouri, the state is now closer than ever to legalizing adult-use cannabis. But there seem to be speed-bumps slowing the process.
The Show-Me state is facing uncertainty when it comes to showing us legal weed. So what’s the hold-up? Elevate Holistics is here to answer questions like: Does Missouri have recreational marijuana? When will Missouri vote on recreational weed? Keep reading for Missouri marijuana updates.
Missouri Recreational Weed Initiatives
Recreational weed Missouri is not yet legal, but there are a few initiatives in place to legalize Missouri recreational cannabis. With the state’s weed eggs spread across multiple baskets, what could go wrong? Apparently some things.
Even with hopeful prospects, lawmakers and residents alike are unclear about what path to legal weed in the midwest state will stick. But, only time will tell. Here are a few of the initiatives urging lawmakers to legalize adult-use weed in MO.
Legal MO 2022
Advocates have been exhausting their efforts to place the initiative petition process on the November 2022 ballot. The initiative, Legal MO 2022, would allow adults 21 and older to possess three ounces of Missouri recreational weed.
It would also automatically expunge the records of Missourians with nonviolent marijuana-related offenses, extend the amount of time that Missouri medical marijuana cards are valid, and more. New Approach Missouri – the group that successfully got a medical cannabis initiative passed by voters in 2018 – is leading the campaign.
The campaign announced that it has garnered more than 325,000 signatures to let voters decide on the policy – a historic amount. (They required 171,592 valid submissions to qualify for the ballot.) The deadline for signatures is May 8, 2022.
Opponents of Legal MO 2022 argue that it would stifle competitiveness in the industry by giving existing medical cannabis businesses priority in the recreational market, inflating prices, and fueling the black market.
LEARN MORE: Is Marijuana Going to be Legal in Missouri?
House Bill 2704, The Cannabis Freedom Act
Rep. Ron Hicks (R) presented a bill called the “Cannabis Freedom Act” to enact legalization through the legislature. The bill would legalize recreational weed Missouri, provide opportunities for expungements, and authorize social consumption facilities, among other initiatives.
Hicks’ plan would direct tax revenue to fund teacher salaries, first responder pensions, and the Missouri Veterans Commission. The Cannabis Freedom Act has passed through two committees and will be discussed further before it is considered. Right now, leadership is hindering the bill from reaching the House floor.
Hicks believes that Missourians would not be effectively heard if the reform is decided at the ballot (like through the Legal MO 2022 campaign), instead of through legislature. Some are calling Hicks’ bill a “free-market alternative” to the campaign.
GOP-Led Joint Resolution
Rep. Shamed Dogan (R) filed a joint resolution to place a constitutional amendment on legalization on the 2022 ballot. Under the resolution, adults 21 and older could purchase, possess and cultivate cannabis for personal use. The resolution would remove cannabis offenses from the state’s criminal statute.
Tax revenue would go to a “Smarter and Safer Missouri Fund” to support veterans’ services, drug treatment programs, and more.
When Will Missouri Vote on Recreational Weed?
The main point of contention for recreational weed Missouri is whether or not to include licensing caps for cannabis businesses. Rep. Hicks didn’t originally include any license caps in his bill, but the House Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher (R) is insisting on them.
Affirming the legality of licensing caps on May 3, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District ruled that Missouri’s constitution gave state regulators the authority to limit the number of licenses issued to grow and sell medical marijuana. But, we have yet to see if that ruling will ramp up the progress.
So when will Missouri vote on recreational weed? Will lawmakers be able to agree, or at least agree to disagree, regarding some of these concerns? Cannabis advocates across the state are hoping residents will be able to vote on recreational marijuana Missouri on the November 2022 ballot.
Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Program
Missouri legalized medical marijuana in 2018 and cannabis sales began a couple of years later in October 2020. Since then, MMJ sales in Missouri have hit over $200 million. On top of that, close to one out of every 10 jobs that were created in Missouri last year came from the state’s medical-marijuana program.
MO’s medical marijuana program didn’t include a social equity program, so cannabis advocates are hoping that will change when it’s time for recreational marijuana Missouri. And it looks like there’s hope for that. Under the Legal MO 2022 campaign, for example, micro-businesses would be approved to enter the market.
A micro-business makes less than $250,000 a year, resides in high-poverty areas, or is owned by someone who has been prosecuted for a nonviolent marijuana offense. The MMJ market in Missouri is thriving, but the people want to take it to the next level. What can you do in the meantime?
Get MMJ Access With Elevate Holistics
So when will Missouri vote on recreational weed? It’s possible that Missouri marijuana 2022 will be on the ballot in November. Proponents of the cause hope to make recreational weed Missouri accessible for all adults, decrease the black market sales of cannabis, and garner extra tax revenue for the state. Other individuals think that Missouri needs to spend more time working on its medical marijuana program before rushing into recreational use.
With all that’s going on, there’s movement. This means that recreational marijuana Missouri could be legal within the next year. (Fingers crossed.) But what can you do for now? It’s time to get your medical marijuana card. Not only does an MMJ card allow patients access to safe, quality cannabis, but patients will also be prioritized at dispensaries once recreational weed is legal (among other benefits).
Book an appointment with Elevate Holistics to get your MMJ card today – your health and wellness will thank you.
Missouri Patient Resources:
Read about MO’s MMJ allotments in our blog post – What’s Up With Missouri’s 8-Oz Allotment?