How it works: Missouri’s limited medical marijuana law

Sen. Eric Schmitt | Courtesy of the Missouri Senate
Sen. Eric Schmitt was a prominent backer of House Bill 2238. | Courtesy of the Missouri Senate

The Missouri General Assembly, with House Bill 2238, created a structured framework for the cultivation and processing of cannabis plants for use in cannabidiol oil, or CBD.

The plants that the CBD oil will originate from are to have no more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydracannabinol, or THC, the chemical that exists in high amounts in marijuana. On the other hand, the level of CBD must be at least 5 percent.

Under the bill, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Senior Services will work together to administer the law.

In order to gain access to CBD oil, patients must first receive written approval from a neurologist who confirms that three other methods of treatment have been exhausted. Since the law only applies to minors, the hemp extract registration card must be issued to a parent or guardian. Patient response to the treatment will be tracked by his or her neurologist, who in turn will give the information to the Department of Health and Senior Services, which can distribute it to a higher education institution for research.

Read more: Missouri makes marijuana extract legal for epilepsy treatment

The use of CBD oil as a treatment for conditions like intractable epilepsy gained national attention after the 2013 CNN documentary “Weed: Sanjay Gupta Reports” highlighted a child named Charlotte Figi and the Charlotte’s Web strain of hemp named after her.

The Realm of Caring Foundation, a Colorado nonprofit, grows the strain. The Stanley Brothers, cannabis cultivators and breeders, developed the strain to contain high amounts of CBD.

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