swade dispensary in st. peters photo by min + architecture

How to get a Missouri medical marijuana card

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As medical marijuana dispensaries continue popping up throughout the St. Louis area, you may be wondering, “How do I get in on that?” It’s really quite simple: The first step is to get your medical marijuana card. Once you have that, you’re free to enter any medical cannabis dispensary in the state and purchase your state-allotted amount, which is 4 ounces of cannabis or 32 Missouri Marijuana Equivalency (MME) units per month. (A MME is equivalent to 1 gram of THC concentrate or 100 milligrams of infused product.)

People who wish to purchase medical marijuana or grow their own must have a qualifying medical condition. While some of these conditions – cancer, glaucoma and intractable migraines, to name a few – are listed on the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) website, marijuana can be recommended for those with chronic, debilitating or terminal conditions. Once a physician determines you have a qualifying condition, you can then get a referral from a medical cannabis physician to submit a physician certification form to DHSS.

Swade Dispensary – which has locations open in the Grove, St. Peters and Ellisville, and others on Delmar Boulevard and Cherokee Street coming soon – works with partner clinics that certify medical marijuana referrals: Marijuana Card Clinic, Elevate Holistic, NuggMD, Midwest Cannabinoid Clinic and MOCannaMD.

“If you come into our location without a medical card, we will suggest that you go next door to Marijuana Card Clinic,” said Swade St. Peters general manager Shannon Thompson. “They walk you through the process from start to finish.”

Consultations can also be completed via virtual telemedicine appointments, making it easier than ever to apply for a card. “Once the process is complete, you send your documents to the state through an online patient portal,” Thompson said. “The timeline is predicated upon how fast the state is moving, but you usually get your card within two weeks – 30 days max.” Documents that must be submitted include a clear photograph of your face taken within the last three months, proof of Missouri residency,
a photo ID and a completed physician referral. Minors also need authorization from a parent or guardian. Once approved, you will receive an email from the state letting you know your card is ready to be downloaded from the same portal where you submitted your documents.

If you’re not sure if your medical condition qualifies, there’s no harm in setting up an appointment with a physician from one of Swade’s partner clinics. “The beauty of having a great card clinic is that they will look at your information first to see if you are qualified, and they won’t take payment unless you have what’s needed,” Thompson said. A physician referral typically ranges from $75 to $125; renewals vary but are usually less. Fees to the state are currently about $25 for a patient or caregiver and about $100 for a cultivation license. Fees may be adjusted, and all licenses and referrals must be renewed annually.

For more information, visit swadecannabis.com.