Is CBD Oil Legal In Missouri?
Missouri CBD Laws
Is CBD oil legal in Missouri? Currently, CBD shops are popping up like daisies in springtime all across the state of Missouri, especially in the bigger metropolises such as Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, and Columbia. So it must be legal, right? Actually, even law enforcement authorities seem to be fuzzy about whether or not CBD oil is legal in the state.
How is that possible? It is either allowed or prohibited, right? Well, not so fast. While everything is changing in the world of cannabis laws on both a state and federal level, CBD is still a little bit of a hot potato.
So, what’s causing all the confusion? For one thing there are (at least) two sets of laws governing cannabis cultivation and products. Those are local and Federal. And the two are not always in agreement.
And second of all, there are actually two kinds of CBD oil. There’s CBD oil made from marijuana, and CBD oil made from hemp. Although both crops are considered cannabis, they actually fall under two different sets of rules and are overseen by (at least) two different regulatory agencies. We’ll get into this in a little more detail shortly.
To get the full story of where the confusion begins, we have to start with the United States Congress.
Missouri CBD Laws
Federal CBD Laws
Hemp CBD vs. Marijuana CBD
What Conditions Does CBD Help
Where to Buy CBD In MO
Is CBD Oil Federally Legal?
We could write a book about the history of the U.S. Federal government’s policy toward cannabis. A good, long, fascinating book. And probably no two individuals’ accounts of the story would be the same. But to make a long story short, here’s the gist of what happened.
Back in the 1930s, after being a staple crop in the country for more than two centuries, a powerful businessman in the lumber business and a Washington politician succeeded in getting cannabis cultivation banned in the U.S.
By most accounts the impetus behind the move was to eliminate competition that the hemp industry was giving the lumber industry. And also by most accounts, the motives for the ban were veiled by demonizing the “evil weed.” The reason given for the ban was that marijuana, as the Mexicans immigrants called it, turned people (especially Mexican immigrants and musicians) into crazed, sociopathic, murderers.
Then, almost four decades after the ban, in 1970, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency classified cannabis a Schedule I prohibited substance making its possession a felony. Again, by many accounts, the alterior motive for the new ruling was to empower law enforcement agencies to arrest all those hippie protesters that were giving the U.S. government a bad name.
The half-a-century-long campaign to demonize cannabis was so successful that it has taken more than half a century to even begin to untangle the falsehoods that were embedded in the psyche of the American public.
Okay, we’ve already spent too much time on that story. Let it suffice to say that marijuana is still federally illegal to this day.
Hemp, on the other hand, is a different story. The “plant with 10,000 uses” has finally, as of December 20th, 2018, been legalized nationwide by language included in a recent farm appropriations bill.
Here’s where we have to get into what the difference actually is between hemp and marijuana.
What’s The Difference Between Hemp CBD and Marijuana CBD?
Only One Is Fully Legal in Missouri.
As we mentioned, hemp and marijuana are the same species of plant. But just like all tomatoes that you see in the store are also the same species of tomato, cannabis plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes and flavors.
The distinguishing factor between hemp and marijuana is that one, marijuana, will get you high if you smoke or cook it, and the other, hemp, will not.
All cannabis produces a family of compounds known as cannabinoids. The two most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis are cannabidiol, aka THC, and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC. While both of these compounds are valued for their medicinal properties, THC is infamous for causing a buzz. And it’s THC that is at the center of all the commotion and controversy.
The main differentiator between hemp and marijuana is that hemp must, by law, produce less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. That figure is so low, that Farmer Joe could smoke hemp until the cows come home and not get stoned.
Quite often you’ll hear the media talking about hemp as “industrial hemp, the weed that doesn’t get you high.” While this is, indeed, true, the hemp used to make CBD oil cannot accurately be labeled industrial hemp.
Industrial hemp is grown in vast fields packed tightly together. It grows fast and can reach amazing heights of up to 16 feet. It’s cultivated for its fibers and seed. To produce fibers the plant is cut down when the plant starts flowering in order to harvest the strongest fibers. And to produce seeds, industrial hemp is grown to maturity. This plant is extremely low in cannabinoids and does not produce the massive, resinous buds that are needed to economically produce either THC or CBD oil.
The hemp strains used to produce extracts that are high in CBD are actually strains of marijuana that have had the THC bred out of them. This category of hemp is generally referred to as phytocannabinoid rich hemp, or PCR hemp for short. It looks like marijuana, it smells like marijuana, and it’s grown using the same methods as marijuana. Instead of being grown in open fields, it’s grown in plots or pots and given room to grow. They grow fat and bushy instead of tall and spindly. Only female plants are grown to avoid the production of seeds. PCD Hemp produces buds with a CBD content of anywhere from five to twenty five percent.
As with marijuana, the extracts of PCR hemp flowers can be refined to produce a cannabinoid-rich oil. Enter CBD oil — the cannabis oil that doesn’t get you high.
Until the feds gave the all clear on hemp, hemp-derived CBD oil fell under the state’s medical marijuana laws. However, just recently, the state finally approved the production and sale of hemp CBD oil. So, go nuts. But what about the other kind of CBD oil?
Is Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil Legal in Missouri?
Oils that are rich in CBD can be produced from either PCR hemp or marijuana. So, what about CBD oil produced from marijuana? Is that CBD oil legal in Missouri? Up until recently, that answer depended on one factor — whether or not you suffered from epileptic seizures.
Marijuana has been pretty much decriminalized across Missouri, but decriminalized is not the same as legal. Possession of small amounts of marijuana — less than 10 grams — is punishable by something akin to a speeding ticket rather than being a crime punishable by steep fines and possible jail time. But growing and selling marijuana were still illegal — that is until recently.
Back in 2014, Missouri passed laws giving epilepsy patients the legal right to use “hemp extracts,” aka CBD oil if it helped reduce their seizures. The law defined a “hemp extract” as a preparation of cannabis that contains at least 5% CBD and no more than 0.3% THC.
Then in the most recent midterm elections, Missourians voted in favor of an expanded medical marijuana measure which included provisions for licensing of cultivation facilities and medical marijuana dispensaries. Although, at the time of writing, Missourians are still unable to purchase their medicine, the wheels are in motion.
In early January, 2019, the state started taking application fees for cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary licenses. The plan is to set up a system of production and sales consisting of around 200 medical marijuana dispensaries, spread evenly throughout the state.
The list of medical conditions was expanded from only epilepsy to include conditions such as:
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Hepatitis C
- Crohn’s Disease
- Huntington’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
This is just a partial list. Also included under the new law is any chronic medical condition that is normally treated with an addictive prescription medication, or any terminal illness.
On a side note, pets with certain medical conditions can also benefit from the use of CBD oil. However, it’s unwise to give them products made for humans as their systems are much more sensitive to cannabinoids. And, even more importantly, never, ever give your pet products containing THC as it can make them seriously ill.
What Conditions Do CBD Oils, Gummies and Products Work For?
Scientific studies strongly suggest that CBD oil provides the following benefits:
CBD oil is currently being used by many people as an alternative medicine to help relieve a variety of conditions such as these:
MO CBD Laws: Hemp CBD Oil vs Marijuana CBD Oil
So, if you have one of the conditions listed above, and you’re willing to jump through some hoops for the government’s blessing, you will, by 2019, be able to purchase high CBD cannabis oils containing THC in medical marijuana dispensaries in Missouri.
This brings up the question, do you really need to go through all that when hemp CBD oil is now completely legal? What difference does THC make in the effectiveness of the treatment? The answer is that it depends on what condition you’re trying to treat, and, to some extent, the cause of the condition. Many experts in medicinal cannabinoids will tell you that cannabis oils that contain THC are more effective than those that do not for a number of medical conditions.
Cannabis oils containing THC can be formulated with varying amounts of THC and CBD. Some are high in THC and low in CBD. Some have a balance of the two. And some have a ratio of CBD to THC ranging from about 5 to 1 up to 20 to 1.
Of course, the products with lower levels of THC are less likely to get the user stoned. But that doesn’t mean they are without their risks. Using a product with THC can result in a failed drug test or roadside sobriety test putting the user at risk of massive fines and possibly even jail time.
So, do you, personally really need the THC? Some patients actually get along fine without it.
In the summer of 2018 the federal Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug called Epidiolex for the treatment of certain types of childhood epilepsy. Epidiolex, as it turns out, is essentially pure CBD with zero THC. In order to get this approval the product had to go through a number of clinical trials to prove its efficacy and safety.
Although products with THC might provide better results, users need to decide if it’s worth the hassle of getting bogged down by state bureaucracy, and also whether it’s worth the risks involved in using these products.
Just to give you some idea of the risks, possession of up to 10 grams is considered a misdemeanor and comes with fines up to $500 with no jail time. But if you get caught a second time, you could face up to one year in jail and fines between $1,000 and $5,000. And do not get caught selling weed or you risk anywhere from seven to 15 years in prison and fines in the thousands of dollars.
Hemp-derived CBD oil is now completely legal in Missouri, easy to access, won’t get you high, and won’t get you arrested or fired. So where can you purchase hemp CBD oil?
Where to Buy CBD Online for People and Pets
The best way to get your hands on some hemp-derived CBD products is to purchase them online. It’s fast. It’s easy. And you can have them delivered right to your doorstep, saving yourself a trip.
And for those with furry friends, many local and online shops are now selling CBD oil products formulated especially for dogs and cats and other pets.
Where To Purchase CBD Oil In Missouri
If you’re looking for the THC-rich variety of CBD oil, you’re pretty much out of luck until the ball gets rolling on the state’s medical marijuana program in early 2019. But if that’s your plan you can get started on registering as a medical marijuana patient.
CBD oil made from hemp, on the other hand can be found at vape shops, health food boutiques, and other retailers throughout the state. It can also be purchased online and delivered to your doorstep.
Although there is technically no minimum age to purchase CBD oil, keep in mind that some local shops and most websites, as a policy, do not sell CBD oil and other CBD products such as CBD vape liquid to anyone under the age of 18.