Medical Marijuana in Mississippi
On November 3, 2020, Mississippi citizens voted in favor to legalize medical use of marijuana. In addition, 74% of Mississippians voted to enact a broad and medical marijuana program on Initiative 65 rather than the more restrictive legislative option (“Initiative 65A“). Unfortunately, Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler of Madison, Mississippi filed a lawsuit against the State alleging that due the change in number of congressional districts, Initiative 65, along with the State’s ballot initiative process, was impossible to comply with as one could not acquire the requisite signatures needed. With a 6-3 ruling, the Mississippi Supreme Court threw out Initiative 65 and its process.
Fortunately, on January 26, 2022, the Mississippi Legislature gave its final stamp of approval of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, or known as SB2095. On February 2, 2022, Governor Tate Reeves signed the Act into law, making Mississippi the 37th state to legalize medical marijuana. Under this Act, which is viewed as a compromise between the purposes of Initiative 65 and Initiative 65A, Mississippians suffering from severe, debilitating conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s disease will be able to purchase three (3) ounces of marijuana a month. Furthermore, the medical marijuana program is set to begin granting licenses and registration in one hundred and twenty (12) days, which will be overseen by the Mississippi State Department of Health (“Department”).
Qualifying Conditions Under Mississippi’s Medical Cannabis Act
Cancer, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, sickle cell anemia, Alzheimer’s, agitation of dementia, PTSD, autism, pain refractory to opioid management, diabetic/peripheral neuropathy, spinal cord disease, or severe injury; and chronic medical condition (or its treatment) that produces either cachexia or wasting, severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, or chronic pain.
- 60 days after passage (February 2, 2022), MDOH will begin issuing registry ID cards.
- 120 days after passage date: MDOH begins accepting applications, registering practitioners, and issuing registry ID cards.
- 120 days after passage: MDOH begins licensing medical cannabis businesses other than dispensaries, with licenses issued within 30 days of the date of application, whichever is later.
- 150 days after passage: MDOH begins licensing dispensaries, with licenses issued within 30 days of the date of application, whichever is later.
Applications for Medical Marijuana Business Licenses in Mississippi
Pursuant to the newly enacted provisions of Mississippi’s Medical Cannabis Act, the following listed below are the types of licenses that will be provided by the Department:
- Cultivation Facilities
- Processing Facilities
- Cannabis Transportation Entities
- Disposal Entities
- Testing Facilities
- Research Facilities
There will be two (2) tiers of micro-cultivator and additional tiers of cultivator, depending on size. Furthermore, there will be no numerical cap on medical marijuana business licenses.
With the recent passage of the Medical Cannabis Act in Mississippi, it is paramount to begin constructing and strategizing your business plan now as the Department will begin the application process for medical marijuana business licenses in June of 2022. You can provide your information here to receive notification updates related to Mississippi cannabis matters. Schedule a consultation to further discuss your options here!