Legal Weed Week: Edibles and what’s legal under Amendment 3

The industry reports a 10 percent spike last year in the sale of edibles.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 10:00 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 10:31 PM CST
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MISSOURI (KFVS) - Marijuana products you can eat are referred to as edibles.

Often, they take the shape of gummies or candy bars.

As Legal Weed Week continues, we focus on your edible rights under Amendment 3.

How much can you have, and what happens if they fall into the hands of children?

“There are several, several packages. Several different styles.”

Cape Girardeau Patrolman Bobby Newton pulls out handfuls of edible packets seized in a drug distribution case he worked back in 2019.

“So, this is a peach ring,” he said as he opens one of the packages and puts a THC-infused edible on the table in front of us.

“As you can tell, an 8, 9, 10-year-old kid’s not going to tell the difference between this and a real peach ring.”

He then opens an actual bag of candy to compare.

“Not a lot of difference at all,” Newton said.

We sat down with former Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Oliver to learn more about Amendment 3.

As we asked him about edibles, we showed him an evidence photo from that 2019 Cape Girardeau drug case.

If you can only have 3 ounces of marijuana, how many gummies packages can you have, we asked him. Or has that even been addressed?

“That’s a good question,” Oliver responded. “Who knows? It’s basically silent on quantity of edible products one can have. And also, concentration, right? Someone could do a 99, 100 percent infused THC that’s got a lot more potency than something that would have 20 percent. So, it doesn’t say how much THC you can have and how much that’s regulated.”

Amendment 3 does give the Department of Health and Senior Services the ability to lay out certain edible packaging rules. They include “requirements that packaging and labels shall not be made attractive to children.”

But, as Oliver pointed out, there’s nothing in the amendment to address what happens when an adult’s legal pot products get into the hands of children.

“Nowhere in Amendment 3 does it say it is a class A misdemeanor or a class E felony to sell to a child under the age of 21. It just says, we’re not saying in this amendment that someone under 21 has the right to smoke marijuana.”

That would have to come from lawmakers in Jefferson City, Oliver said. Same thing goes for holding a minor accountable for having weed.

“So, the minor in possession law in Missouri is specific to alcohol. It’s specific to intoxicating liquors, that someone under 21 having alcohol is a crime. The minor in possession statute does not mention THC because that the time it was passed, right, marijuana was illegal for anyone to possess.”

Back at the Cape Girardeau Police Department, officers said they’ll look to Missouri’s current child endangerment laws for guidance on protecting kids in their city.

“It’s your job and responsibility as an adult to protect minors, especially in your care,” Lieutenant Joey Hann said. “So, the same as you would be endangering a 10-year-old by leaving alcohol in their bedroom, you’d be endangering a child by leaving marijuana where they can access it. And use it or disperse it among their friends.”

“We still have other laws that may not be marijuana-specific that protect endangering children,” Chief Wes Blair added. “That protect impaired driving. So even though it doesn’t specifically say it’s a marijuana offense, it’s still an offense to endanger your child. It’s still an offense to drive impaired, no matter what you’re under.”

Something else police will continue to focus on - impaired drivers.

Driving under the influence is illegal, regardless of whether the substance you’ve taken is legal or not. But does Amendment 3 lay out any kind of standard for driving high? See what we found out here.