Missouri Medical Marijuana Regulations in Constant Flux: No Advertising of Specific Strains, Delta-8
The medical marijuana industry is highly regulated in the state of Missouri. Recently, guidelines tightened around the types of advertisement and promotions cannabis companies are allowed to engage in. Dispensaries can no longer advertise specific strains of cannabis, and can’t offer discounted promotions on particular brands of marijuana products.
Missouri medical card holders will have to do their own research to find the best prices. Anyone on the hunt for a specific strain will have to contact dispensaries on their own to see if it’s in stock. Most dispensaries will offer a variety of indica, sativa, and hybrids, but those looking for a specific strain will have to do some additional legwork.
Missouri Greenway published the guidelines in full, which are outlined in a letter to Missouri cannabis companies from Andrea Balkenbush, Facility License & Compliance Director for the state’s Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program. The letter was sent last summer, but the Department of Health and Senior Services recently updated the guidelines due to some miscommunication between state officials and marijuana businesses.
What IS NOT allowed?
The regulations prohibit discounts on specific strains or particular brands of cannabis. It prohibits lowering prices for promotional events as well as free giveaways of any cannabis products.
The language of the letter states that Missouri medical marijuana regulators view a promotional event as “any activity, advertisement, or publicity designed to increase interest in purchasing medical marijuana or a particular product or brand of medical marijuana.”
Changes Already Being Proposed
With the swift pushback from marijuana businesses and cannabis patients who want to take advantage of lower promotional prices, state officials are already proposing changes that will allow promotional events and the advertising of discounts on marijuana products.
According to the proposed changes, promotions outside of dispensaries will be allowed, provided the language includes the following disclaimer: “Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products.”
It should also be noted that these proposed changes also include a ban on hemp-derived Delta-8 THC.
WHY do these regulations exist?
These regulations are more extensive than those in states that allow recreational marijuana use. In Missouri, marijuana is ONLY legal for medicinal purposes, and state guidelines are in place to avoid patients getting misled by advertising.
Those seeking the best prices or a specific strain of cannabis may find this a hindrance, but those patients who are less versed in marijuana culture can rest assured the state wants to be certain they aren’t being seduced by flashy promotions.
In her letter from the state’s regulatory program, director Balkenbush stated the new rules were put in place to be more specific, because there have been “misunderstandings” leading to some businesses having their licenses suspended.
Businesses are Fighting Back
Cannabis owners are taking a stand against these regulations. In an interview with News-Press Now, Chris McHugh, CEO of Vertical Cannabis, said the regulations make it “very difficult for dispensaries to get the word out on a product they want to discount.”
As more dispensaries pop up and business-owners seek to stand out in a competitive marketplace, they are finding themselves hamstrung by these regulations.
Several marijuana business owners teamed up to place an ad in cannabis-based publication, The Evolution Magazine, urging readers to mail in a pre-written postcard to the director of the state’s medical marijuana program, requesting the rule be rescinded.
As the medical marijuana landscape continues to ebb and flow, business owners and state regulatory agencies may find common ground. With the possibility of recreational legislation, we may see additional shifts in regulations on the horizon. But, for now, anyone seeking a specific marijuana strain is going to have to find it on their own.
Get relief now.
If you are ready for the natural relief that medical marijuana can provide, you’ll need a Missouri Medical Card. Our team of doctors can help find out if you qualify for a medical card by taking you through a fast and easy evaluation. Schedule an appointment with a marijuana professional by CLICKING HERE, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.
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At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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