Missouri now has the nation’s most liberal cannabis laws—here are six surprising stats

Greenlight Dispensaries grow facility in Kansas City, MO. Photography by Chase Castor.
2/2023

Recreational marijuana will be available in Missouri starting sometime in “early February.” That’s just three months after legalization. When Colorado and Washington state legalized it a decade ago, it took them nearly two years to get recreational dispensaries up and running.

168

The number of mid-sized joints a Missourian can legally possess. That’s based on a typical jazz cigarette weighing in at about a half gram and Missourians being able to possess three ounces. The Missouri law is the nation’s most relaxed: Missourians can possess three times as much pot as conservative California, Colorado or Oregon (one ounce each).

6 (but really 13)

A six percent tax on the retail price of marijuana is put toward legal fees for expungements of people convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses. The remaining tax revenue will go toward substance abuse treatment programs, veterans’ health care and the public defender system.

Local governments can add on an additional three percent tax, and state sales taxes will also be charged, making the tax package more than thirteen percent. This is still among the lowest rates in the country—half what’s charged in less progressive places like Illinois, Vermont and Oregon. 

6 (but really 18)

Missourians are allowed to have six mature, flowering pot plants if they buy a $100 home cultivation license card. The specifics get complicated, but they can have eighteen plants in total.

78

Percent of KCMO voters that supported the legalization measure—more than apparently conservative St. Louis City (seventy-three percent) or any individual county. Jackson County also approved, by sixty-eight to thirty-two percent. The only part of the KC metro area to not approve was Lafayette County, homeland of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.

21

Missouri becomes lucky number twenty-one. The state technically legalized cannabis on December 8, 2022, eighty-nine years and three days after the 21st Amendment repealed alcohol prohibition in 1933. 

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