Missouri: Medical Marijuana Petition Approved For Signatures


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander on Tuesday announced an initiative petition to legalize marijuana for medical purposes meets state standards and may be circulated for signatures.

The initiative would amend the state constitution to allow cannabis for medicinal purposes. The petition needs signatures "equal to eight percent of the total votes cast in the 2012 governor's election from six of the state's eight congressional districts, reports The Missouri Times.

This means roughly 200,000 valid signatures would be required to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. The signatures must be submitted to the secretary of state's office by 5 p.m. on May 8, 2016.

The official ballot title for initiative petition 2016-128 reads:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
• allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and create regulations and licensing procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities;
• impose a 75 percent tax on the retail sale of marijuana, and a 10 percent tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana to licensed facilities; and
• use funds from these taxes to establish and fund a state research institute to conduct research with the purpose of developing cures and treatments for cancer and other incurable diseases or medical conditions?

If approved by voters, the medical marijuana law would allow cannabis for medicinal purposes and would create a system for licensing and regulating medical marijuana cultivators and dispensaries. It would also impose taxes on medicinal cannabis retail and wholesale sales, and would use those funds for research into potential medical applications.

The proposal is estimated to generate annual taxes and fees of $45 million to $58 million for medical research with state and local government implementation costs. " Medical research job creation and other economic activity is likely to result in significant additional tax revenues to state and local governmental entities," according to the Missouri Times.

Graphic: Herald Tribune