Medical marijuana is now legal in Mississippi.
“I thank all of the legislators for their efforts on these improvements and all of their hard work,” Reeves wrote on social media. “I am most grateful to all of you: Mississippians who made your voice heard.”
Here’s what we know about the new law:
Medical marijuana in MS:Gov. Tate Reeves signs Mississippi medical marijuana bill into law
How much cannabis can a medical marijuana patient buy a month?
Sen. Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, and Rep. Lee Yancey, R-Brandon, worked closely on the bill, making several changes to the amount of cannabis a medical marijuana patient can purchase a month.
The law allows patients to buy up to 3 ounces of marijuana per month.
Sen. Blackwell proposed a bill allowing 3.5 ounces, but the House lowered it to 3 ounces, and the Senate approved.
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When will the program start?
The program will start in 120 days with the first licenses and registrations given to cannabis growing, cultivation and packaging facilities. The Mississippi State Department of Health will oversee the program.
How to get a medical marijuana prescription in Mississippi
A medical professional can only prescribe medical marijuana within the scope of his/her practice. This requires an in-person visitation.
Only a MD (doctor of medicine) or DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) can prescribe medical marijuana to adults between the ages of 18-25 and to kids under 18 (with the consent of a parent/legal guardian).
When will there be cannabis dispensaries in Mississippi?
Dispensaries will be licensed within 150 days of the bill becoming law.
What’s the difference between this bill and the ballot initiative voters approved in November 2020?
The final bill is significantly different from the initiative voters approved during the November 2020 election. The Mississippi Supreme Court struck down the initiative and the state’s ballot referendum process in May 2021.
Here’s what’s different:
- The 2020 initiative allowed a person to be prescribed up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana within a 14-day period.
- People who receive medical marijuana cards will not be able to purchase new firearms due to marijuana still being illegal on the federal level. A person is allowed to keep any guns and permits they had before becoming a medical marijuana patient, Rep. Yancey said.
- The bill applies the state’s 7% sales tax and a new 5% excise tax to cannabis sales. If a person bought $100 of cannabis, they would pay $12 in taxes.
- The House removed the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce from having any regulatory role in the program.
- A medical professional can only prescribe medical marijuana within the scope of his/her practice. This requires an in-person visitation.
- Only a MD or DO can prescribe medical marijuana to kids under 18 (with the consent of a parent/legal guardian). A MD or DO must also prescribe to adults between the ages of 18-25.
- The MSDH will implement rules regarding packaging and advertising
- A marijuana dispensary has to be more than 1,000 feet away from churches and schools
Reporter Lee O. Sanderlin contributed to this report