STEP-BY-STEP MMJ GROW GUIDE: Missouri CANNABIS

MISSOURI MMJ PATIENTS ARE GROWING & YOU CAN TOO

Missouri voters legalized medical marijuana; however, before that time, health-conscious individuals had to obtain a license and grow it in their homes illegally. It also opened the door for folks who wish to cultivate medical marijuana at home with a valid state license. DHSS has set the number of licenses at 60 cultivation facilities, 192 dispensaries, 86 medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities and 10 testing laboratory facilities.

Let’s look at how patients and caregivers can grow their medical marijuana while the State of Missouri no longer provides new manufacturing licenses to individuals who want to produce medical cannabis just to supply dispensaries.

There is an additional $100 fee to grow up to six flowering plants per patient, and strict security regulations that must be followed.  Previous convictions do not disqualify an individual from obtaining an identification card. However, a qualifying patient’s identification may be revoked for certain criminal conduct that occurs after the card is issued.

The qualifying patient’s physician may certify them to have up to four ounces of dried, unprocessed marijuana, or its equivalent, in a 30-day period. If there is a compelling reason why the qualifying patient needs a greater amount, then the Department requires two independent physician certifications specifying what other amount the qualifying patient needs.

Patients that are under the age of 18 will also need to complete and submit a Parent/Legal Guardian Consent Form with their application. Applying caregivers will need a Patient Authorization Form and the patient’s license number, which the patient will receive once their application is approved. This number will begin with PAT.

CERTIFICATION IS QUICK AND EASY

The first step in obtaining a medical marijuana ID card that allows the purchase of medical marijuana is to have a qualifying condition. A card is also required before someone may apply for a home cultivation license. The patient or their caregiver (but not both) may apply to obtain a patient cultivation license to grow up to six flowering marijuana plants for the exclusive use of the qualifying patient.

The state approved qualifying conditions are:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraines
  • Chronic Pain
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Seizures
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • PTSD
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Terminal Illness
  • Hepatitis C
  • ALS
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Autism
  • Neuropathies
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia/Wasting syndrome.
  • A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication that could lead to physical or psychological dependence, when a physician determines that medical use of marijuana could be effective in treating that condition and would serve as a safer alternative to the prescription medication

Only two individuals, both of whom hold valid qualifying patient cultivation identification cards, may cultivate medical marijuana in one space. These two individuals may be two patients, a patient and a caregiver, or two caregivers. Normally, assuming two individuals are sharing the space, only 12 flowering marijuana plants may be cultivated in that space, as well as 12 nonflowering plants and 12 clones. However, if one of these two individuals is a caregiver and also a patient with a valid qualifying patient cultivation identification card, that individual may add 6 additional flowering plants, 6 nonflowering plants, and 6 clones to the share space so that the caregiver may cultivate plants for the patient under her care and for herself. This is the only circumstance under which plants for 3 patients may be grown in one shared space.

“In Missouri, we can help you obtain a medical card. We connect you with a doctor through our secure, zoom-like platform using our telehealth and HIPAA-compliant network of physicians, making it a quick and simple procedure,” says Ryan Brown, the founder of Green Team Doctors. “Our licensing office is the only business that provides complete refunds if a patient isn’t accepted for a card, which is pretty rare.”

If you intend to home cultivate medical marijuana, you must provide specific details of your home cultivation setup while completing the patient application.  The following video tutorial and instructional guide provides assistance with giving these home cultivation details.

Five Simple Steps to Obtain Your Medical Marijuana Recommendation Online:

Click here to schedule an appointment once you’re ready!

1. Register Online & Complete Intake Questions

Complete the quick intake information regarding which covers your basic data and medical history. You can meet with the physician within ~10 minutes or you can schedule a time to speak with the physician at a later date when you’re ready.

2. Attend Telemed Consultation

 During your consult, the physician will review the information you submitted, ask questions about your medical history, gain an understanding of the ailments you suffer from and answer any questions you have about the medical marijuana program and Missouri. If you don’t have medical records, be prepared to discuss in detail your medical history and why medical marijuana would be beneficial in treating your symptoms/improving your life. The doctor from their professional discretion and medical expertise will make the determination if you qualify.

3. Make Payment Online

Completely Risk-Free & Money-Back Guarantee. If You’re Not Approved, You Do Not Pay! The one-time fee includes an online physician consultation, medical marijuana recommendation and requisite follow-ups. Medical Marijuana recommendations will be provided to you on the same day of your consultation. Medical Marijuana recommendations are valid in Missouri for one year!

$25 | The standard and required application fee for patients

$25 | Optional, only if you need to add a caregiver to your account.

Application fees must be paid by Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit or debit card. An additional credit card processing fee will be added to the transaction. These application and processing fees are non-refundable. The payment will not be refunded for applications not approved.

4. Receive Doctor Approved Recommendation

By email, you will receive a completed and signed version of the Missouri Physician Certification Form form which is needed to obtain your card to the email address you designated.

5. Submit Recommendation to DHSS

Once patients have registered, an application can be completed by logging into the Complia portal, clicking “+Create Application” and “New Patient Registration”.

Click on the Patient/Caregiver Application Registration blue box located under the photograph to apply for your identification card. If a “Warning-Exiting Site” pop-up box appears, click “Yes” to proceed to the registry. Only applications submitted through the on-line registry will be accepted.

You have thirty (30) days from the date of your recommendation to apply and submit it to the Missouri DHSS online portal . After the DHSS confirms and approves your recommendation, you’ll receive your Missouri Medical Marijuana Card in the mail. At this point, you may access any state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary.

Learn the APPLICATION process

Patients and caregivers may learn how to protect their home cultivation ID cards so they can produce the medical marijuana they require on their property. Start with the procedures Missouri has in place when looking for information on how to get a home cultivation ID card. Avoid dealing with businesses that claim they can ‘work-around’ or speed up the procedure.

Applications for authorization to cultivate can be made within the initial patient or caregiver application, or may be added after the initial license approval by submitting an update application. The cultivation information provided within the application must meet the following requirements:

  • For a shared cultivation space, the names of shared licensed patients must be listed in each other’s application.
  • The cultivation description must meet the requirements of an enclosed locked facility, including additional requirements for an outdoor cultivation space (see definitions above).
  • The space must be locked, restricting access to only patients and their licensed caregivers.
  • Applicants must attest to provide DHSS with access to the cultivation space upon request.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is the only organization that issues home cultivation ID Cards as of today. The Department only accepts patient/caregiver applications submitted through its secure, on-line registry. Any mailed patient/caregiver application and/or payment will not be accepted. To avoid delays and malfunctions, there’s a step-by-step application procedure to go through. There’s not much one can do to speed up the process; however, there is a lot one can do to slow it down!

Requests for authority to cultivate medical marijuana on behalf of a qualifying patient may be made within a qualifying patient or primary caregiver application, or may be made at a different time by submitting an update application to an approved license. 
Cultivation authorizations added to a qualifying patient or primary caregiver identification card will only remain valid as long as the qualifying patient or primary caregiver’s identification card is still valid. The cultivation application fee will be the same for all cultivation applications no matter how much time remains on the validity of the patient or caregiver’s identification card.

Adding to a New Application

Applicants may add cultivation to their New Patient or New Caregiver application and submit the request with the license application. 

To add cultivation to a New Patient or New Caregiver application:

  1. On the Questions tab of the application, select the slide bar next to “Do you intend to cultivate medical marijuana?”. 
  2. This will change the answer to “yes”.
  3. Applicants must then enter details of their cultivation location, security and access.
  4. The cultivation address must be entered and verified.

There is also a question asking if this cultivation will be shared.

  • If the applicant will be the only cultivation license in that space, select “no”.
  • If the applicant will be sharing with other licensed cultivators, select ‘yes”.
  • Applicants will need to enter the names and license numbers of the other cultivator in the space.
  • If this person is also applying for cultivation, applicants may also type “Applying for cultivation license” in that space.

Please note: Applicable fees for cultivation licenses will need to be paid when submitting the request to add cultivation.

Change or Update an approved Cultivation License

Licensed patient and caregiver cultivators may change or update the details of the approved cultivation license by submitting an update to that application.

To submit an update changing cultivation details:

  1. Log into mo-public.mycomplia.com.
  2. Click “License Dashboard” on the left side of the screen. 
  3. Choose the application that you would like to update, and click the actions column and the end of the row. It should look like three lines in a circle. Click “Patient Update”. 
  4. From there the system will ask you a series of yes or no questions. 
  • Change the answer from “no” to “yes’, on the question “Does this Update involve a change in the location of your cultivation location and/or security agreement?”, and click “Save”. This will open your application so that you are able to make the update(s). 
  1. Click “Save and Next” at the bottom of each screen, until you reach the “Questions” tab. 
  2. On the Questions tab of the application, licensees may make edits to any of the cultivation details.
  3. Once details have been changed, navigate to the “Review” tab by using “Save and Next” at the bottom of each screen.
  4. Scroll to the bottom, and click “Submit”.

Caretakers should take this extra step

The patient they will care for must complete a Patient Authorization Form to obtain a home cultivation ID card for a caregiver. A Caregiver cannot get an ID card to use on behalf of several patients in general. An identification card, while particular to the carrier, is also specific to the person being cared for. A new form is needed for each patient/caregiver relationship, so if a caregiver changes patients, the caregiver must submit a new form for the new patient.

Patients can designate up to two caregivers. The patient must be licensed and the caregiver(s) must be licensed 

How do I apply to be a caregiver?

  1. The caregiver must have a Patient Authorization Form completed by the approved patient they are applying to be the caregiver for. The Patient Authorization Form can be found on the website as well.
  2. After the caregiver has a completed Patient Authorization Form, the caregiver needs to complete an online application through the registry portal. For a complete guide for how-to apply, please visit the Patient Services – How to Apply page.
  3. Caregivers should create their own account in the registration system and should complete a ‘new caregiver application’ as applications created in a patients account will populate the patient’s information within the application and cannot be processed. Fees are nonrefundable.
  4. Caregiver applicants who chose to create an application in another account must select ‘add an individual’, and then create an application.

Organize a growing space

Marijuana plants may be cultivated almost anywhere, as long as they are out of sight and in a safe place that only the approved grower has access to. A closet shed, basement or even a tiny room may be used for this purpose. If you’re not a marijuana grower, it’s a good idea to seek assistance from someone who is. Experts can assist you in arranging for lighting, irrigation, and other factors in a way that is most conducive to flourishing plants.

A legal home-grow facility may be indoors or outdoors, but it must be “enclosed” and “locked” — and Missouri provides a 150-word definition of what constitutes “enclosed” and “locked.” Spring time is ideal to start your outdoor grow. If you start in the spring, your plants will grow tall in the early months and into the first half of the summer season. For the best results, plan to start your outdoor grow during March or April.

Qualifying patient cultivation must take place in an enclosed locked facility per 10 CSR 30-95.010. The description of this facility in a patient’s or caregiver’s application should include how cultivators will comply with the requirements in this rule regarding location, security, and who will have access to the facility.

“Enclosed, Locked Facility” means

An indoor stationary closet, room, garage, greenhouse, or other comparable fully enclosed space equipped with locks or other functioning security devices that permit access to only the qualifying patient(s) or primary caregiver(s) who have informed DHSS that this is the space where they will cultivate marijuana.

An outdoor stationary structure —

  • That is enclosed on all sides, except at the base, by chain-link fencing, wooden slats, or a similar material that is anchored, attached, or affixed to the ground and that cannot be accessed from the top.
  • In which the plants are not visible to the unaided eye from an adjacent property when viewed by an individual at ground level or from a permanent structure at any level.
  • That is equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access to only the qualifying patient(s) or primary caregiver(s) who have informed DHSS that this is the space where they will cultivate marijuana.

Indoor Cultivation Requirements

Pursuant to 19 CSR 30-95.010(12), an indoor enclosed locked facility should be a stationary closet, room, garage, greenhouse, or other comparable fully enclosed space equipped with locks or other functioning security devices that permit access to only the qualifying patient(s) or primary caregiver(s) who have informed the department that this is the space where they will cultivate marijuana.

Outdoor Cultivation Requirements

An outdoor enclosed locked facility should be a stationary structure that is enclosed on all sides, except at the base, by chain-link fencing, wooden slats, or a similar material that is anchored, attached, or affixed to the ground and that cannot be accessed from the top. The plants cannot be visible to the unaided eye from an adjacent property when viewed by an individual at ground level or from a permanent structure at any level. Finally, the outdoor structure must be equipped with locks or other security devices that restrict access to only the qualifying patient(s) or primary caregiver(s) who have informed the department that this is the space where they will cultivate marijuana.

Multiple Cultivation Locations

By rule, an applicant can only cultivate in one single location at any given time. However, an applicant can submit both an indoor and outdoor location description, provided that the applicant clearly specifies when they will be growing inside and when they will be growing outside. 

Access Vs Sharing

Access refers to qualifying patients and caregivers who are accessing the space for the specific set of plants tied to the specific cultivation license. Only qualified, licensed patients and caregivers may have access to a cultivation space. They will need to be listed in the “Cultivation Security Arrangements and Processes:” details within the application.

Sharing refers to qualifying patient and caregivers who are growing their own cultivation in the same space with another cultivator. Sharing does not include sharing plants; it is only about sharing physical space. Cultivators who are sharing a space must be listed in the application. This can be done by answering “Yes” to the question “Will this cultivation be shared?” on the Questions tab of the application. If this individual has not yet, but will be applying for cultivation or to be your caregiver, please type “Applying for Cultivation” or “Applying for Caregiver” in the “License number of Patient/Caregiver” box in the application.

Plant seeds WITH PURPOSE

When buying marijuana seeds, Missouri citizens have a huge selection. Most growers prefer strains focused on indoor setups because their crop is more secure, and they have more control over the climate. Other cultivators prefer greenhouse strains because of their versatility. Similar to greenhouses, indoor grow rooms allow you to control the climate of your weed plants. Proper ventilation, lighting, and nutrients are critical to achieving a quality harvest. Some concerns on the other hand, like pests, common diseases and molds, and detrimental environmental factors like humidity or unexpected frosts are all but mitigated with an indoor grow.

Strains like Blue Dream or Banana Kush do well in greenhouse setups. The benefit of a greenhouse is that you can easily secure and maintain the location, set up additional security measures, and meet all the standards and requirements outlined in Missouri’s Cannabis Act. While indoor almost always runs at a higher cost than outdoor crops, the harvest is usually worth the expense to people growing marijuana seeds in Missouri. Despite this, overhead costs may still prove prohibitory for some beginning growers.

Seeds are getting increasingly difficult to come by as of mid-2021, and alternatives are limited. Organizations in Missouri provide a great deal of information on the many species available, and some even offer convenient shipping options for your purchase.
Don’t forget to check your state’s laws on shipping and germination. Check with your state’s authorities regarding the legality of sending seeds across state lines.

Ensuring you only source cannabis seeds from Missouri seed banks and stores will keep you in compliance with the law, since Missouri does not allow growers to purchase cannabis seeds from outside of the state. The most popular strains in Missouri are focused on health properties. Since the state of Missouri has a relatively short summer compared to other states nearby, growers often recommend autoflower seeds which proliferate in the long spring and fall seasons.

Here are some more strain options:

  • Wedding Crasher
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Northern Lights
  • Afghan Kush
  • Durban Poison
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Girl Scout Cookies

HARVESTING & DRYING PLANTS

As a general rule of (green) thumb, your plant is ready to harvest when the pistils (those long hairs) turn amber and the trichomes (that glittery frost) are milky. The pistils are easy to see, but the color of the trichomes are best viewed under a microscope or hand lens. Don’t break out your lab coat just yet — a smartphone magnifier app or simple lens from your local drugstore will do. 

Your plants are now ready to be harvested when the bulbous heads of the trichomes are fully developed and milky but still translucent. Harvest early in the day just before the sun comes up (or your auto lights turn on). Cut the entire plant away from the root ball, branch by branch. Working from the outside in, remove all leaves that are not connected to buds. Going from big to small, trim away leaves without trichome frosting first, carefully cutting off leaves closest to the buds last. 

There’s still more work to do before the plant may be utilized for the purpose for which it was cultivated. Locate a dark area with good air flow to become your drying room for the next few weeks. Hang strings or chains up (think multiple clotheslines) and hook, tie or pin the cannabis upside down to dry. For 1 to 2 weeks, dry the harvested plants in the air. Keep an eye on the temperature and humidity levels to make sure the buds don’t get moldy; a humidity range of between. 45-55% is ideal. When the stems easily snap when bent, the plants are completely dried. If you’re tempted to speed up the process with a stove, microwave or dehydrator, don’t. You’ll compromise the scent and flavor, and might even end up with a headache after smoking.

The only medical marijuana required to remain with or in a particular packaging is medical marijuana purchased from a dispensary. Patients and caregivers licensed for cultivation are also authorized to possess their own, cultivated marijuana, and there are no regulations regarding packaging for that medical marijuana.

Licensed patient and caregiver cultivators are also allowed to move their plants to a new enclosed locked facility location. They may do this first and then file an update. But, to remain in compliance, they should file the update immediately after the transfer to a new space in order to ensure continued compliance.

CURE CANNABIS PRIOR TO USE

The buds are still a little damp after drying. After the appropriate timeframe for that particular strain has passed, the buds should be placed in airtight jars and stored in a dark, dry place. This process draws moisture from the inside out, where terpenes that give marijuana its distinct smell and flavor are created and preserved.

When the outside is no longer moist and the small stems snap rather than bend, you’re ready for the final step. Just remove any extraneous dried leaves and enjoy! Because you took the time to cure correctly, you’ve drastically reduced the risk of mold and bacteria and you should be able to safely store your harvest in a dark place for the next year or so without decreasing quality.

For those new to the field, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s also vital that you know how to produce high-quality medical marijuana because it is an increasingly relevant industry where demand for quality products will only continue to grow.

Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation
PO Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570

Toll-Free Access Line: 866-219-0165
(9:00 am – 3:00 pm CST Tuesday-Thursday)

Email for general inquiries:
medicalmarijuanainfo@health.mo.gov

Are you prepared for the first step? Visit missourigreenteam.com to find out if you qualify for a medical marijuana identification card right away.

Ready, set, GROW!
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Missouri Green Team – Medical Marijuana Doctors & Recommendations

Call today! (508) 606-6741

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