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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Missouri Marijuana Dispensaries to Open Mid-Summer, DHSS Director Says

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2020 at 4:32 PM

click to enlarge Finally, some good news. - VIA FLICKR/BLAZENHOFF

In the midst of Governor Mike Parson's COVID-19 briefing this afternoon came the answer to a question that has been on everyone's minds since the crisis began.

Specifically: When the hell do the medical marijuana facilities open?

As we've all been stuck in our homes due to lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, the prospect of legal marijuana has looked more and more attractive to bored people sheltering in place across the state.

Medical marijuana has technically been legal in Missouri since January 1, but dispensaries have been unable to open until they meet seed-to-sale requirements that mandate that marijuana sold in Missouri must be grown from seeds starting from the time that medical marijuana is officially legal.

And with coronavirus lockdowns affecting, well, everything, it has been unclear when the dispensaries will be able to open, or even when inspectors will be able to have a look at the sites where marijuana will be sold in order to give them the OK.

Dr. Randall W. Williams, director of Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services, shed some light on that subject this afternoon in response to a question from a reporter during today's coronavirus briefing.

While he admits that medical marijuana has been only a tiny fraction of his concern in light of the pandemic (an understandable position), he says that inspectors will be able to head to the dispensary sites starting on May 4, when the state's stay-at-home order is lifted. He says further that the dispensaries are currently looking at opening mid-summer, which he then clarifies would mean "late July, early August."

It is unclear whether that date will be later in St. Louis city and county, whose lockdown orders will remain in effect beyond when the state's are lifted — at least until May 15. But the fact that marijuana dispensaries are being treated as "essential" in other states where weed is legal — including Illinois — means that they could be exempted from those restrictions.

In other words, there's light at the end of this particular tunnel, even if the larger, more virus-related tunnel we're all in remains pretty dark at the moment.

But the other good news is, as long as you have a medical marijuana card, it doesn't matter if you get your weed from an illicit source.

So smoke 'em if you got 'em!

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