Medical Marijuana Inquiry

Are your patients asking about medical marijuana? Learn more about Missouri's medical marijuana process.

Recently, an MDA Member contacted the office and asked, "I have had several patients ask me about medical marijuana. What are the current guidelines concerning prescriptions? Can dentists get 'certified?'"

The MDA consulted with the Department of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, and the Missouri Dental Board for an answer.

In Missouri, medical marijuana is being regulated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)—not the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, nor the Missouri Dental Board.

DHSS has promulgated rules regulating the dispensing of medical marijuana. There won’t be “prescriptions” written in the same sense that healthcare providers write a prescription and the patient takes it to a pharmacy and gets it filled. Medical marijuana will be dispensed only in authorized dispensaries. Patients will be “certified” by a physician to be dispensed up to a certain amount of marijuana per time period for certain, specific medical conditions/treatments. At this time, DHSS rules only allow for a patient to be “certified” as eligible for medical marijuana by an M.D. or D.O., physicians who are licensed and regulated by the Missouri Board of Healing Arts.

The following link has very good information, especially in the FAQ section: health.mo.gov/safety/medical-marijuana/faqs-physician.php.

In Summary

  • The way a doctor practices/prescribes and medical marijuana are two separate issues.
    Doctors can write prescriptions for prescription drugs only.
  • The drugs get dispensed by a retail pharmacy.
  • None of this will be marijuana; pharmacies do not have marijuana and can’t get it.
  • The DEA has marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug and no pharmacy can have it. Doctors cannot prescribe Schedule 1.

Medical Marijuana Process

  • Patients must have a pre-existing condition, such as cancer or other illness.
  • They must provide records from their physician to certify this.
  • A physician will only be providing records to certify an existing illness.
  • These will be physicians only and not dentists or podiatrists, or optometrists or nurses.
  • No prescriptions will be written. The physicians are only providing certified records.
  • The patients apply and show their records to the health department.
  • The patients can get a “medical marijuana card” to show they are qualified.
  • Then the patients go buy marijuana products from an authorized dispensary, but it won’t be a pharmacy, because there are no prescriptions for it.
  • The patient shows their card and buys marijuana.
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