The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published July 10, 2019

Medical pot dispensary rules passed


CAMDENTON – More marijuana rules have been put in place by the city last week in preparation for the beginning of medical pot.

Last week the Board of Aldermen approved rules governing pot dispensaries in the city limits.

As with any other business, all types of Medical Marijuana Facilities (Cultivation, In-fused Manufacturing, Testing and Dispensary) shall be required to have a city business license.

In addition, other rules have been put in place in relation to the dispensaries.

• Medical Marijuana Dispensaries shall not be open to the public or make any sales between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
• Medical Marijuana Dispensaries shall not be sited within 500 feet of any existing elementary or secondary school, daycare, church, public library, residential zoning district or public park.

If the dispensary is a freestanding facility, the distance is measured from the external wall of the facility structure.

If it is part of a larger structure, such as an office building or strip mall, the distance between the facility and the school, daycare, church, public library, residential zoning district or public park shall be measured from the property line of the school, daycare, church, public library, residential zoning district or public park to the facility’s entrance or exit closest in proximity to the school, daycare, church, public library, residential zoning district or public park.

If the school, daycare, church, public library, residential zoning district or public park is part of a larger structure, such as an office building or strip mall, the distance shall be measured to the entrance or exit of the school, daycare, church, public library, residential zoning district or public park closest in proximity to the facility.

Measurements will also be made along the shortest path between the points that can be lawfully traveled by foot.

• No Medical Marijuana, of any type, may be consumed on the premises of a Medical Marijuana Dispensary, nor shall the licensee permit such consumption.
• Any Medical Marijuana Dispensary shall require any customer to display the customer’s qualifying patient identification card or primary caregiver identification card issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
• No person under the age of eighteen years old shall be allowed into a Medical Marijuana Dispensary; except that a Qualifying Patient who is under the age of eighteen years but who has been emancipated by a court order and a Qualifying Patient, under the age of eighteen years when accompanied by the Qualifying Patient’s parent or guardian.

Other rules regarding inhalers, paper and other pot associated materials are also included in the new ordinance.

If someone is caught with pot and no identification card, then what?

The board addressed that also with an addition to the city code.

• Any person who in possession of medical marijuana shall, immediately upon the request of any law enforcement officer, produce a valid permit issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (or its successor) for such possession including, but not limited to, a Qualified Patient Identification Card, a Qualified Caretaker Card, or a similar card issued by another state.

Any person who fails to produce such a permit upon request shall be guilty of the offense of failure to produce a medical marijuana permit. Conviction of this offense shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $50.00.

And if someone feels they have to have their “medicine” in public they need to think again.

No person shall administer medical marijuana in public. “In public” means any place other than the residence of the person administering medical marijuana or the residence of another person when the person in control of that property has consented to the administering of marijuana or a licensed medical facility with the consent of the person or persons in charge of that facility.

“Patients” may grow their own pot but strict rules are in place for doing so. This includes a Patient Cultivation Identification Card (issued by the state) and is the primary residence of a Qualifying Primary Caregiver or Qualifying Patient and the marijuana is grown solely for the use of the Qualifying Patient who resides there or who is under the care of the Qualifying Primary Caretaker.

Other rules included fumes are also in place.

“Patients” can consume medical pot in their private residence but may not dispense or smoke marijuana in such a manner that the marijuana smoke or odor, exits the residence.

In a multi-family or similar dwelling, medical marijuana may not be dispensed or consumed in any common area.

The board approved both readings of the changes to city code and they are now in effect.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law, despite what states may vote regarding it.

In a USA Today article in 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) said that marijuana will remain illegal under federal law. States that allow marijuana for medical use or legalize recreational use remain in defiance of federal law.

According to the article, “the DEA said a Health and Human Services evaluation shows marijuana has no ‘currently accepted medical use’ because ‘the drug’s chemistry is not known and reproducible; there are no adequate safety studies; there are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts; and the scientific evidence is not widely available.’”

"There is no evidence that there is a consensus among qualified experts that marijuana is safe and effective for use in treating a specific, recognized disorder,” the DEA report added.

Medical pot is still in the works and is not yet available in Missouri until the state has everything in place.

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