On March 9, the Missouri Senate passed a bill that would ban cannabis-infused candy from the medical program when it starts up. The measure is an attempt to protect children from ingesting cannabis in forms that might be appealing to them.
According to the KCTV 5, candy, lollipops, cotton candy and fruit- and animal-shaped edibles will be banned if this bill becomes law. Cannabis-infused food and/or the packaging it comes in will also have to be stamped with the drugs’ dosage in order to be clear about THC content.
Additionally, the bill introduces stricter penalties for those caught with opioid drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil. These drugs are being targeted because they’re often associated with nefarious intentions rather than for simple recreational consumption. If the bill passes, anyone who sells or is attempting to sell more than 10 milligrams of fentanyl or carfentanil could carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. Those selling 20 milligrams or more could even face life behind bars and would serve 10 years at the minimum.
The Senate has voted 28-1 to send the bill to the state House for consideration. If it clears the House, it has a chance of being signed into law.
Despite this possible new regulation, the state’s medical cannabis system is already underway. A study was conducted in April 2019, which projected that Missouri would see 19,000 medical cannabis patients in 2020, 22,500 in 2021 and 2,600 by 2022. In December, Missouri officials revealed they had approved almost 22,000 medical cannabis cards since the program opened last July. As of March 6, Missouri has seen an estimated 35,000 people applying for medical cannabis cards.
Limiting the form that cannabis edibles can take may slightly hurt edibles sales, but the Missouri medical cannabis community will continue to thrive.