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Three Marijuana Initiatives on November 2018 Ballot

This November Missourians will decide on three initiative petitions that would create “medical” marijuana programs.

Two of the initiatives are amendments to Missouri’s Constitution, and the third, Proposition C, would change Missouri’s statutes. If both amendments pass, the one with the higher voter approval is instituted. Approval of either amendment overrides approval of Proposition C.

Due to the unprecedented nature of these efforts, it’s crucial that Missourians be informed of the details of each initiative.

AMENDMENT 2 (“New Approach Missouri”)

Physicians may recommend that a patient consume marijuana or marijuana products (edibles, waxes, dabs, vapes, etc.) to treat nine specified conditions or classes of conditions, and allows recommendation for “any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition…”

Regulation and Limits
The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) would have oversight of the medical marijuana program, production, sales, purchase, and distribution. The DHSS may limit purchases to 4
ounces of marijuana per patient every 30 days, with exceptions if doctors recommend a higher dose. Patients may also cultivate up to 6 flowering plants for personal use.

The amendment would require DHSS to approve 1 cultivation center per 100,000 residents, 1 manufacturing facility per 70,000 residents, and at least 24 dispensaries in every congressional district.

NCADA COMMENTS:
We greatly prefer that cannabis-based drugs be developed and offered in FDA-approved forms, and sold through pharmacies rather than through a potentially unlimited number of dispensaries promoted by individuals seeking massive profits (such as Adolphus Busch IV, a major funder of Amendment 2).

Amendment 2 actually has the ability to prevent access to FDAapproved medications that are derived from cannabis but aren’t manufactured in Missouri.

The marijuana program would be overseen by DHSS – which would be preferable to the new, largely unsupervised, agency created by Amendment 3.

Marijuana sold under this system would be subject to an effective tax rate of 12-14 percent.

New Approach Amendment Full Analysis

 

AMENDMENT 3 (“Find the Cures,” “The Brad Bradshaw Amendment” )

This amendment would create the Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute – a nine-member research board which would oversee medical marijuana research in Missouri. Each member of the research board would receive a salary at least equal to that of the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court (approx. $180,000). The research board would establish a list of diseases which may be treated to medical marijuana.

Limits
The research board may limit marijuana purchases, but not to less than 3 ounces every 30 days. The board must issue at least 50 manufacturing licenses and allow 1 dispensary for every 20,000 residents in a county.

NCADA COMMENTS:
Amendment 3 is referred to as “The Brad Bradshaw Amendment” because the Chairman of the Research Board is required to be both a lawyer and an MD – a rare qualification that applies to the amendment’s primary backer, Brad Bradshaw, who operates a personal injury law firm in Springfield. Bradshaw has provided 99% of the funding (close to $2 million) for this ballot initiative.

The chairman would appoint the remaining members of the board, who can then establish “targeted disease group governing panel(s).” The members of the panels can be paid ANY salary (minimum over $100,000) that the research board chooses. A person may serve on up to four panels (which indicates that the positions can be a part-time responsibility).

The amendment would establish a 15 percent tax on sales of medical marijuana.

Brad Bradshaw Amendment Full Analysis

 

PROPOSITION C (“Missouri Patient Care”)

Physicians with a “bona fide” physician-patient relationship may recommend a patient consume marijuana or marijuana products to treat nine specified conditions or “any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition…”

Local municipalities could prohibit cultivation and sale of marijuana with a 2/3 vote in a general election. Because it is not a constitutional amendment, Prop C could be changed through a majority vote of the Missouri legislature.

Regulation and Limits
Regulation is divided between DHSS, and the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco (which would establish a “seed to sale” tracking system.)

An individual may possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower (or equivalent) as a 14-day supply, and may possess up to a 60-day supply at a time. The Division of Alcohol and Tobacco may limit sales licenses to 1 per 100,000 Missouri residents, but is not required to do so.

NCADA COMMENTS:
As with the other initiatives, Proposition C establishes no meaningful limits on what medical conditions may be treated with marijuana. Prop C does allow individual communities control over the production and sale of marijuana. Because Prop C is not an amendment, it can be more easily tweaked to cover special circumstances and unforeseen problems. If either amendment passes, Prop C will not take effect.

Marijuana sold under this system would be subject to an effective tax rate of 10-12 percent.

Missouri Patient Care Act Full Analysis

 

For further analysis read NCADA’s Position Statement on Medical Cannabis.