Recreational marijuana could be sold in Missouri as soon as February after Amendment 3 passed
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Amendment 3 passed Tuesday night making recreational marijuana legal for anyone 21 and older.
The new law does not go into affect until Dec. 8. It will legalize marijuana for usage, sale, distribution and production.
According to state officials, some shops may be able to start selling to the public as soon as February.
Part of the revenue made by the sale of marijuana will go back into programs including veteran aid and drug rehabilitation programs.
Possession of up to 3 ounces will be allowed.
Dan Viets -- Missouri coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws -- said legal transactions made when buying marijuana will be safer for consumers all around.
"Testing will be required," Viets said. "Many people who opposed the legalization were concerned about the quality and safety of the weed, but were looking at it from a black market standpoint. By testing the plants, people will know how strong and pure it is. There's no mold on it or other drugs mixed in. "
According to Viets, the legalization will also make it harder for minors to have access to pot.
"Drug dealers don't care who they sell it to," Viets said. "But now, you have a regulated store, verifying people's identities and age."
The Department of Health and Senior Services will be in charge of testing for recreational use just like they are medical cannabis.
DHSS Director Lyndall Fraker said the plants are tested and tracked.
"There is a seed-to-sale tracking system," Fraker said. "We'll be able to track the plants when they're put in the ground or the pots in the cultivation facilities. And it'll follow the consumer all the way to the point of sale."
This seed-to-sale tracking system is currently in place for medical marijuana sold in the state.
"Although weed will be legal to use, employers still reserve the right to drug test and deny jobs due to a persons cannabis usage," Fraker said. "We, as employees, all have a duty to the employer to follow the rules they set."
According to Fraker, many businesses have started to hire outside consultants for guidance on how to go about navigating this new law.
Like alcohol, cannabis cannot be used while driving and will not be allowed to be consumed in public.