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Legal weed sales could begin Friday in Jefferson City but Columbia will have to wait


The date for Missouri residents to start buying weed – legally – has been moved up to Friday.

But depending on where they live, they might have to wait.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said “emergency rules” are going into effect. Sales for some dispensaries in the state could begin as early as Friday.

DHSS spokesperson Lisa Cox said in an email nearly all of Missouri’s licensed medical dispensaries requested to convert their medical license to a comprehensive license, which includes recreational use and medical use. Cox said about 90% of dispensaries who submitted that request, did so on Dec. 8, 2022, the first day they were able to submit.

DHSS had 60 days from receipt to review and approve these requests, meaning most dispensaries must be approved -- or denied – by Monday, Feb. 6.

In order to ensure all systems and processes are working as planned ahead of the Feb. 6 constitutional deadline, the Division of Cannabis Regulation within DHSS will begin approving conversion requests on Friday, according to Cox.

Sales to adult-use consumers -- ages 21 years old and older -- may begin as soon as dispensaries get that stamp of approval.

But, it's going to be a little bit different within Columbia city limits.

Columbia City Attorney Nancy Thompson told ABC 17 News that a license to sell in the city is required, in addition to a state license. The conversion licenses will not be available for issuance in the city until after the City Council approves authorizing the licenses at its meeting on Monday.

The earliest possible date dispensaries could start selling within city limits would be Tuesday.

In Jefferson City, sales can begin as soon as approval happens.

"As soon as DHSS converts the medical marijuana dispensary licenses of the two facilities located in Jefferson City into comprehensive marijuana dispensary licenses, those two facilities will be able to start making adult use marijuana sales," city attorney Ryan Moehlman said.

This comes after Amendment 3 was passed by Missouri voters in November. It legalized recreational marijuana for those 21 and older and allows individuals to possess up to 3 ounces. The measure also expunges certain marijuana-related charges.

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Ryan Shiner


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