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2019 Legislative Priorities

 

MARIJUANA

NCADA’s top legislative priority for 2019 is ensuring that Amendment 2, Missouri’s medical marijuana program, is implemented in a way that promotes transparency, legitimacy, and the public health. The General Assembly should, at the least, pass legislation regulating marketing, tracking of sales, dispensary staff training, warnings, and limits on edibles. More details regarding these regulations can be found on the back of this document.

OPIOID CRISIS

NCADA will advocate for state legislation that establishes the Narcotics Control Act, funding for treatment, and the establishment of evidence based harm reduction strategies. We stand opposed to legislation that promotes discriminatory or ineffective practices that inhibit treatment or the wellbeing of those suffering from substance use disorders.

PREVENTION

NCADA recognizes that the most effective way to address substance use disorder is to prevent it in the first place. Dedicated funding to school and community based prevention is the most efficient means to stemming the growing tide of substance use.

TOBACCO/NICOTINE

NCADA supports legislation that decreases a minor’s exposure to cigarette, cigar, and hookah smoke, as well as vapor from e-cigarettes and vaporizers. This includes a statewide version of Tobacco 21, an ordinance passed by many municipalities to limit the purchase of nicotine products to people 21 and older. Additionally, legislation that toughens penalties for selling or providing nicotine products to minors is a proven strategy for delaying the age of first use and reducing rates of addiction.

ALCOHOL

NCADA supports policies that toughen penalties for sales and serving to minors, deters parents from providing, ensures minors don’t have access to easily concealable, easily misused products like powdered alcohol, and raises alcohol excise taxes. These steps are essential to fighting underage drinking. Earlier age of initial use is highly correlated to alcohol related problems later in life, and NCADA supports efforts to reduce underage alcohol consumption.

 

NCADA’S MEDICAL MARIJUANA RECOMMENDATIONS

When Missourians passed Amendment 2 in November, they endorsed the creation of a  medical marijuana program for individuals suffering from chronic, debilitating conditions.  While the text of Amendment 2 was specific in some areas, it was vague regarding industry  regulation. Most of the power was left to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services  and the Missouri General Assembly. NCADA believes DHSS should enact rules promoting  predictability and reponsibility, so the developing industry is not seen as a medical farce. Where  allowed by Amendment 2, these rules should then be turned into law by the General Assembly  to ensure longterm predictability. Regulating a brand new industry in the span of a year is no  small feat, and unforeseen circumstances will arise. As a starting point, NCADA believes that  emergency rules and statutes should address the following issues:

MARKETING

Regulations should address storefront marketing such as discounts or images. Packaging restrictions should prohibit the use of cartoons or other images that appeal to children.  Mechanisms for advertising should also be limited, similar to current limits on tobacco  advertising.

TRACKING OF SALES

DHSS has the authority to limit the volume of product purchased. An electronic tracking system should be implemented that would allow dispensaries to see if a potential customer has reached or exceeded their limit.

DISPENSARY STAFF TRAINING

Dispensary staff will be providing medical advice to patients suffering from chronic, debilitating medical conditions, likely already prescribed pharmaceuticals. Dispensary staff should be trained on drug interactions and how to provide patient education.

DISCLAIMERS

Products sold from dispensaries should have clear labeling that states their use is not approved by the FDA. NCADA endorses language similar to the disclaimer required on other unregulated remedies: “This product is not approved for use by the FDA. This product has not been proven to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease.”

LIMITS ON EDIBLES

Amendment 2 explicitly allows for patients to utilize “edible” products derived from marijuana, but the allowance is not explicitly limitless. There is no medical reason to allow cookies, cakes, brownies, candies, or other foodstuffs that would be appealing to children. Regulations should restrict the forms of edibles to ensure medical validity. Amendment 2 specifically prohibits regulation that would stand in the way of legitimate patients to access care, and NCADA has no desire to do so. The proposed regulations listed here have been developed to prevent predatory actors from circumventing the will of the voters, and to ensure that this emerging industry is based on good public health policy.

Click here to view the printable pdf.