State health department urges caution and safe consumption

With program rules in effect as of today, the Division of Cannabis Regulation within the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has reviewed requests and now approved 335 of the state’s licensed medical marijuana facilities to convert their license to a comprehensive license (adult-use and medical). Approved facilities include 207 dispensaries, 72 manufacturers and 56 cultivation facilities. Facility statuses can be found here.

If the individual facility has previously completed the commencement inspection process successfully with DHSS, this conversion approval from the State immediately authorizes the facility to commence operating under their new authority and begin legal sales to adult-use consumers age 21 and up. Among the 207 comprehensive dispensary facilities, 196 are currently approved to operate.

DHSS began accepting facility conversion requests on Dec. 8, 2022, a timeline set by voter-approved Amendment 3. Amendment language allowed DHSS 60 days from receipt to review and approve these requests, meaning those submitted on the first possible day had a deadline of Feb. 6, 2023. In order to ensure all systems and processes are working as planned ahead of the Feb. 6 constitutional deadline, the department began processing approvals early today.

Additionally, applications for consumer personal cultivation are now being accepted through the department’s secure electronic registration portal. Once these individual applications are approved, this will allow authorized persons, who are at least 21 years of age, to cultivate plants for personal, non-commercial use within an enclosed locked facility at their residence.

While the adult-use cannabis program was built based on guidelines approved by Missouri voters, DHSS, as the state’s public health authority, asks consumers to consume cannabis with caution. Adult consumers are encouraged to review the health effects of cannabis prior to consuming. Some important points of caution include the following:

Individuals should not use cannabis if pregnant as doing so may harm the baby’s health.
Individuals should not operate a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. This remains illegal and dangerous as driving requires a person’s full attention to stay safe and alert. Marijuana can slow one’s reaction time and ability to make decisions, impair coordination and distort one’s perception.
Adult consumers should ensure products are not accessible to those under age 21. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the teen brain is actively developing and continues to develop until around age 25. Marijuana use during adolescence and young adulthood may harm the developing brain.
Edibles, or food and drink products infused with marijuana, have some different risks than smoked marijuana, including a greater risk of poisoning. Unlike smoked marijuana, edibles can:
Take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect, so some people may eat too much, which can lead to poisoning and/or serious injury.
Cause intoxicating effects that last longer than expected, depending on the amount ingested, the last food eaten, and medications or alcohol used at the same time.

Children, adults and pets can mistake marijuana products, particularly edibles, for regular food or candy. Consuming marijuana can make children very sick. They may have problems walking or sitting up or may have a hard time breathing. If you have concerns of possible poisoning, call the Missouri Poison Center at 800-222-1222, or 911 if it is an emergency.

 

More information for consumers, patients and facilities can be viewed at Cannabis.Mo.Gov.

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS): The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.

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