Three years after Missouri voters authorized medical marijuana, a haze of confusion still lingers over the industry.
“(The issue) couldn’t be further from simple I think because of the way the constitution of Missouri is written,” said Chris McHugh, an attorney and CEO of Vertical, a medical marijuana dispensary located in St. Joseph.
McHugh said Missouri’s constitutional amendment that legalizes medical marijuana allows people to possess a certain amount of the drug with an approved card. However, it leaves the source of the drug unaddressed, he said.
“(That part of the amendment) doesn’t specify where that marijuana came from,” he said. “So, under the (Missouri) constitution, it doesn’t really matter if you have a medical card where you got the marijuana. You’re allowed to possess it. And you can’t be arrested or prosecuted for that.
“It’s not legal to purchase marijuana on … the black market, but it is legal to possess that marijuana (from the black market),” he continued. “I know that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
If someone with a marijuana card is found with the drug, McHugh said it doesn’t matter where it came from. Even if it came from out of state