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Availability Of Medical Marijuana In Missouri Expected Soon

A testing facility in eastern Missouri is close to opening

When they awarded licenses last winter, administrators of Missouri’s medical marijuana program anticipated products being dispensed during the summer.

But only two dispensaries have opened (both in St. Louis), and they don’t yet have products available for patients.

Having medical marijuana on the shelves for patients is imminent, according to Lyndall Fraker, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services section for medical marijuana regulation.

It is about time for harvest at a couple of Missouri medical marijuana cultivation facilities that have met all the state’s requirements to grow the products, he said.

However, all medical marijuana produced in the state must go through a testing process at a testing facility before being made available to patients.

And no testing facilities have opened yet.

Testing facilities check the levels of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) of all marijuana cultivated in the state. They test manufactured products, such as edibles. And they check for dangerous compounds like toxins and bacteria.

A testing facility in eastern Missouri is close to opening, he said.

“That’s the one big piece of the puzzle. We have one testing facility that’s requested their commencement inspection, but they’re actually still waiting on some equipment,” Fraker said. “We’re ready. We know it’s important, but the ball’s in their court on that.”

Missouri’s medical marijuana amendment passed in 2018 with nearly 66 percent of voters’ approval. It made marijuana legal for treatment of cancer; epilepsy; glaucoma; intractable migraines (those persistent migraines that don’t respond to other treatments); chronic medical conditions that cause severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to psychiatric disorders (when diagnosed by a state licensed psychiatrist), including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder; human immunodeficiency virus or acquired dependence (if a physician determines cannabis would be effective and safer); any terminal illness; or (in the professional judgment of a physician) any other chronic debilitating medical condition.

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