Medical Marijuana Use Would be Legalized in Missouri Under Bill Passed by Committee

A bill that would make Missouri the next state to allow the medical use of marijuana has been moved forward by the State House Committee on Legislative Oversight.

House Bill 1554 was filed by Representative James Neely. It was passed out of committee earlier today in a 7-4 vote.  The bill would change “the law regarding the use of hemp extract to treat intractable epilepsy to authorize the legal use of medical marijuana to treat terminal illnesses”. It “authorizes the Department of Health and Senior Services to issue medical cannabis registration cards to any Missouri resident, 18 years old or older, who can provide a statement signed by a doctor stating that the individual suffers from a terminal illness and may benefit from treatment with medical cannabis and that the individual has considered all other treatment options currently approved by the FDA and all relevant clinical trials conducted in Missouri.”

The bill’s official summary states that it would expand “the definition of investigational drug, biological product, or device so that it can include medical cannabis. Under this provision, a dispensing organization or manufacturer of an investigational drug, biological product, or device that has successfully completed phase one of a clinical trial but has not been approved for general use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and remains under investigation in a clinical trial can be made available to certain eligible patients who have terminal illnesses.”

Those under 18 may also become legal medical marijuana patients, given their parent or guardian applies for a license on their behalf.

“The department will publish a list of debilitating diseases or conditions for which a medical cannabis or hemp extract registration card can be issued” states the bill. “A medical cannabis registration card may only be issued for terminal illnesses and a hemp extract registration card may only be issued for intractable epilepsy. Any physician who signs a statement for a patient to obtain a medical cannabis registration card must keep a record of his or her evaluation and observation of that patient, including the patient’s response to medical cannabis, and transmit such record to the department.”

House Bill 1554 must now be passed by the House of Representatives and Senate. If it does pass both chambers, Governor Eric Greitens will have final say over whether or not it becomes law.

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Emily Watkins is a PhD student majoring in public policy. Emily has been a freelance editor for multiple websites, and has spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help legalize marijuana. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, and can be reached at