If passed, the bill would erase all nonviolent cannabis convictions and legalize the possession and sale of recreational cannabis. It would also provide protection for banks that handle legal marijuana operations and allow hospitality operators to provide legal spaces for marijuana consumption.
Tax reliefs will be offered to those whose marijuana licenses have been denied by the Missouri Medical Marijuana Program in the amount of the application fee paid to the state. Recesses will also be offered to marijuana businesses that cannot deduct business expenses from federal taxes.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture will regulate the recreational cannabis industry — creating rules and issuing licenses to producers, manufacturers, and retailers.
The Missouri Health and Wellness Dispensary is one of the 202 state licensed medical cannabis companies in the state. Kathleen Beebe, director of human resources and regional director of the dispensary, said she supports the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
She said the company has raised about $241 million from medical marijuana sales. She said legalization would mean higher earnings and more jobs for Missouri citizens.
“Obviously it helps the state’s revenue,” Bibi said. Local communities benefit from this, too. We also created about seven thousand jobs during that time.”
Beebe’s analysis that state revenue will increase is supported by Missouri Hemp Association who says for every $1 medical marijuana patients spend at retail dispensaries in Missouri, an additional $2.50 will go to local economies across the state.
Baby said the Missouri Health and Wellness dispensary treats patients with a variety of conditions ranging from anxiety to pain management. She said she hopes that legalizing recreational use will reduce the stigma of those who use drugs.
“There are a lot of different conditions in which cannabis helps,” Beebe said. “And since we have the opportunity to research this plant and its medicinal benefits, we will discover more benefits it can help with.”
Pep also said the rollout is a huge benefit of rationing coming to fruition.
In a press release from Representative Ron Hicks’ office, individuals shared their support for the bill saying it would reduce corruption and help address historical grievances.
“Law enforcement doesn’t need to be given the benevolent job of banning marijuana anymore, and the Cannabis Freedom Act allows for remedial justice actions that will continue the work of mending the relationship and trust between the government and its citizens,” New Haven Police Chief Chris Hamann and former Carter County District Attorney Rocky Kingery said in joint statement.
If passed, the effective date of the proposed bills is August 28, 2022.