ST. LOUIS – Amendment 3 has passed in Missouri, legalizing recreational marijuana in the state for those 21 and older. Though it’s not in full force just yet.
Voters approved Amendment 3 by a narrow margin in Tuesday’s general election. The race was officially called Wednesday morning with 53.1% of statewide votes in favor.
The decision will remove state bans on the purchase, possession, consumption, use, delivery, manufacture, and sale of cannabis for personal use. It will also allow some people with nonviolent marijuana-related offenses to petition to have their records expunged.
The state can also establish regulations for the state’s recreational marijuana industry, including a 6% tax on the retail price of recreational marijuana. Municipalities have the option of adding another 3% tax.
When does all of this begin?
It will take one month after election night for Amendment 3 to be officially be added to the Missouri Constitution. It is still not legal to engage in any activity involving recreational marijuana in the state through Dec. 8, roughly the next four-plus weeks.
After 30 days of the amendment being adopted, as early as Jan. 7, 2023, it calls for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to make application forms and instructions available to get personal cultivation registration cards. After another 30 days, the department can start accepting applications for the registration cards.
That means the earliest a Missouri dispensary could legally sell recreational marijuana products or possibly grow their own marijuana, if approved by the state, is Feb. 6, 2023.
After 270 days, on Sept. 6, 2023, Missouri can also start handing out “micro-business” licenses for smaller Missouri dispensaries in each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts to sell recreational marijuana.
When will records be expunged?
Another key component of Amendment 3 is the opportunity to expunge nonviolent marijuana-related offenses, aside from offenses for DUIs or selling to a minor. When the amendment enters the Missouri constitution, people can begin petitioning to remove marijuana offenses from their criminal histories.
According to Amendment 3….
- After 90 days (by March 8, 2023) the sentencing court shall complete the adjudication for all cases involving only misdemeanor marijuana offenses.
- After 180 days (by June 6, 2023), the sentencing court shall complete the adjudication for all cases involving class E, or successor designation and felony marijuana offenses.
- After 270 days (by Sept. 6, 2023), the sentencing court shall complete the adjudication for all class D, or successor designation, felony cases involving three pounds or less of marijuana.