People streamed in and out of the Tiger Hotel wearing clothing emblazoned with the leaf of the marijuana plant Saturday afternoon. Booths devoted to growing, selling and prescribing medical marijuana filled the hotel's second floor.

More than 150 people had come for the Missouri Cannabis Industry Association’s seminar on Missouri’s new medical marijuana law. In November 2018, Amendment 2 passed with more than a 65% approval, adding Article XIV to the Missouri Constitution. The article allows for the growth, use and sale of medical marijuana while imposing a 4% tax that will be spent on veteran healthcare programs.

With the creation of Article XIV, the state entered confusing legal territory. Marijuana is still illegal for recreational use in the state, and the federal government does not recognize the legality of any marijuana use. This creates a legal minefield for individuals looking to join an industry that the federal government forbids.

That’s where MCIA’s seminar comes in. The seminar attempted to clarify many of the legal specifics of the amendment, while promoting the budding Missouri medical marijuana industry.

Columbia lawyer Dan Viets  serves as the association's board chair and helped author Article XIV. He opened the seminar by explaining the article in broad strokes and taking questions about the specific interpretations of the new law.

Viets notes that the association was founded with the goal of getting Amendment 2 passed, but has now expanded its view with the primary goal accomplished.

“Since it passed, our goal has been to educate our members and others about how Article XIV works, about how one can serve patients in this state under (the article),” he said.

The seminar featured presentations on the medical benefits of the plant, home cultivation, how to medicate and dose, as well as a keynote speech from The Department of Health and Senior Services, Missouri Director of Medical Marijuana, Missouri Rep. Lyndall Fraker, R-Springfield, on specific rule and regulations for home growth.The event also had doctors who were on hand to approve patients for medical marijuana use.

Viets said the Missouri law was written so that doctors did not have to recommend medical marijuana, they could simply confirm based on patient records that the patient suffers from one of the illnesses that qualifies them for medical marijuana use, such as cancer, epilepsy, or HIV.

Supervising editor is Kaleigh Feldkamp. 

  • State Government Reporter, Fall 2019 Studying news reporting Reach me at imm5yc@mail.missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 573-882-5700

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