Published on February 5th, 2022 | by TLV News0
Mississippi Legalizes Medical Marijuana
The State of Mississippi is legalizing medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and sickle cell disease.
Republican Governor Tate Reeves signed the legislation Wednesday, February 3, 2022 and it became law immediately. It could be months before the first marijuana dispensaries open.
The law requires all medical cannabis used in Mississippi to be grown and processed in state, so the earliest availability of it to patients is still months away, likely late this year.
The law allows people to receive medical marijuana for more than two dozen “debilitating conditions.” These include cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, sickle cell anemia, and Alzheimer’s disease. It also allows it as treatment for chronic, debilitating pain. Conditions can be added to the list only by the Mississippi State Department of Health, not doctors.
The MSDH say they are committed to meeting the statutory requirements of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act recently enacted by the Mississippi Legislature and signed by Governor Tate Reeves. Their goal is to provide a safe and accessible program that meets the needs of patients and the public health and safety of all Mississippi residents.
The MSDH is currently working to establish the licensing and patient registry structures and plans to begin accepting online license applications for patients, medical practitioners, cannabis cultivation facilities, and others by June 2022.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 36 states and four territories already allowed the medical use of cannabis. Mississippi becomes the 37th state.
“For all the people who are touched in some way by a loved one or someone they know who benefits from medical cannabis, this brings their quality of life back,” said Ken Newburger, executive director the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association, a group that pushed for legalization.
A majority of Mississippi voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in November 2020, and it would have allowed people to buy up to 5 ounces a month. The state Supreme Court invalidated it six months later by ruling that the state’s initiative process was outdated and the measure was not put properly on the ballot.
The state House and Senate, both controlled by Republicans, passed the final version of Senate Bill 2095 last week.
The legislation says patients could buy up to to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day, up to six days a week. That is about 3 ounces per month. It also sets taxes on production and sale of cannabis, and it specifies that plants must be grown indoors under controlled conditions.