Medical marijuana officials in Missouri Suggested new rules this week That would allow licensed dispensaries to hold promotional events and advertise price reductions.
If they do, state licensed dispensaries will be required to include a disclaimer with any promotion that reads: “Medical decisions should not be made based on advertisements. Consult a physician about the benefits and risks of medical marijuana products.”
News of the proposal comes after marijuana industry advocates spoke out against a warning for dispensaries issued by the Department of Health and Senior Services last summer.
According to a July 9 email from the organizers, it was reported at the time by Greenway Industry PublicationsMissouri dispensaries “are not permitted to advertise discounts on a particular product because that would result in medical marijuana being dispensed as part of a promotional event.”
The July email also stated that any holiday pricing and promotions for medical marijuana products will be disapproved. Price cuts were allowed at any time, but dispensaries were not allowed to promote them, in a program that was meant to be medical.
Industry advocates have argued that cannabis regulators may be well-intentioned, but Missouri’s rules prohibiting discount rate promotion have faced many problems: was vague. It would have a chilling effect on patient education; And it will make it even more difficult for low-income cannabis patients — who may have already paid upwards of $100 in clinic and government license fees for a patient ID card — to shop for legal medical treatments.
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday that the department issued the July 9 warning “because we noted a fairly widespread misunderstanding of the current rule.” The spokesperson said the department will collect public opinions on the proposed rules until November 18.
The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association, or MoCannTrade, issued a statement Thursday praising state regulators for softening their stance on boosting prices, arguing that the 150,000 licensed Missouri patients were “damaged by the previous rule.”
MoCannTrade CEO Andrew Mullins said, “It is absolutely essential that patients have accurate and timely information and education that allows them to make good health decisions, and that is exactly what Rewriting this rule will allow them to do. Strong patient education is critical to For the continued success of the program, we are grateful to DHSS for recognizing us and working on behalf of patients. The program is stronger today for that response.”
“We are very pleased” that the Department of Homeland Security heard the industry’s feedback, David Olive, a cannabis attorney in Springfield, told The News-Leader in an interview. “These new rules are consistent with the department’s position that this is a medical industry and this is patient medicine.”
Rules may allow dispensaries to sell marijuana plants, and Delta-8 . may ban
The new proposal also included other major changes, including what Olive described as long-awaited “clear instructions” for dispensaries to install driving windows. The proposed rules would prohibit dispensaries from hosting telehealth clinics on site, where doctors provide paperwork for patients’ ID cards. It also requires that anyone working in the dispensary be at least 18 years old.
The new rules will also allow Missouri dispensaries to sell marijuana seeds or plants, but only plants less than 8 inches in height (typically before marijuana buds develop). Seeds and plants should only be obtained from licensed growers. Dispensaries will not be allowed to “change or care for the plant in any way other than watering.”
Finally, the new rules appear to ban popular hemp-derived products like Delta 8. Delta-8 is “typically made from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD),” according to the Food and Drug Administration, as well as in theory under federal laws that allow hemp extraction. It is considered less potent than the delta-9 THC found in marijuana.
The proposed rule in Missouri states that “dispensary facilities may not sell any product containing narcotics created through the chemical conversion of other compounds.”
“I think we’ll need more guidance from the department” on the chemical conversion rule because he didn’t explicitly mention Delta 8 or Delta 9 products, Olive, the cannabis attorney, said.
But Department spokeswoman Lisa Cox said Thursday, “Yes, the intent of this review project is to prevent dispensaries from selling these types of products” when asked by News-Leader about Delta 8 and similar products. “We are examining whether such a ban would comply with the (Missouri Medical Marijuana Amendment to the State Constitution) and welcome public feedback for consideration of this issue.”
Cindy Northcott, a Springfield cannabis attorney and registered nurse, said the list of proposed rules and clarifications was a “good thing for both patients and the industry.” She particularly liked the potential ban on the sale of chemical diversion products in permitted medical dispensaries, she said. (Products are widely available from companies not required to obtain a medical work permit for marijuana, which may also sell other cannabis items such as CBD.)
“As an RN, I am deeply concerned about patients selling compounds that have not been tested for safety in people,” she said in a letter to News-Leader. Delta-8 and similar products are considered by Northcutt and others as “questionably legal,” so they consider the DHSS’s proposed ban as “encouraging” patient safety.
Contact News-Leader reporter Gregory Holman at email@example.com. Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.