Medical marijuana ordinances needed

Voters approved medical marijuana in Missouri last year, and it’s time for city and state officials to start thinking about it.

Jefferson City attorney Nathan M. Nickolaus educated Fulton City Council persons about their legal rights and responsibilities this week — and said that while Fulton is slightly behind the ball in preparations, Columbia government officials haven’t even started.

“When Amendment 2 passed, a lot changed,” Nickolaus said. “Before, it was just illegal.”

Amendment 2 passed in the Nov. 6 election, permitting state-licensed physicians to recommend marijuana for medical purposes to patients with serious illnesses and medical conditions (marijuana paraphernalia is still illegal). According to the state Department of Health and Senior Services, businesses can start applying for licenses to dispense, cultivate and transport on Aug. 3.

“The state will decide who gets licensed,” Nickolaus added. “It costs $10,000 to put your name in for just the licensing consideration — they have 550 applications

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