Many states around the country voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2016, with many more proposing to do the same. On November 6, residents of Missouri will vote on whether to legalize medical marijuana. However, there is not just one proposal on the ballot regarding this issue, but three. All three proposals would permit individuals with certain medical ailments to possess and consume medical marijuana. How they differ comes down to taxes.
Amendment 2 focuses on veterans. Under this amendment, a 4 percent sales tax on medical marijuana would be levied. The tax funds would then go towards the creation of a veterans’ health care fund. Amendment 3 focuses on cancer research. Under this amendment, a 15 percent sales tax on medical marijuana would be levied. The tax funds will then be used for cancer research. Finally, Proposition C, focuses on various state issues. Under this proposition, a 2 percent sales tax on medical marijuana would be levied. The tax funds will then be used to benefit various causes, including public safety, education, drug treatment and veteran care.
Under Missouri law, amendments to the state Constitution will take precedence over current laws in the state. If Amendment 2 and Amendment 3 both pass, the amendment that has the greater number of affirmative votes is the one that will become law.
It remains to be seen how Missouri residents will vote on these issues. However, if one of them is passed, the state will then be faced with the same issues other states that legalized medical marijuana faced, including Ohio. Cultivators will need to be permitted to grow medical marijuana, dispensaries will need to be licensed to operate in the state and physicians will need to be permitted to prescribe the drug. These issues will involve creating many new regulations, as well as possibly changing current regulations. Therefore, those who wish to be involved in the medical marijuana industry will want to educate themselves about these legal issues, and how they may be resolved.