Medical cannabis is now legal in Mississippi as the state law takes effect on July 1, the Oxford Eagle reports. While the program is not yet operational, Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program Director Kris Jones told the Eagle that dispensaries and other facilities will open later this year.
“We anticipate that it will probably be the end of the calendar year before there is a legal product that is available through the dispensaries and that is because businesses have to get established, they have to hire and they have to get crops in the ground.” — Jones to the Eagle
The state’s medical cannabis law covers individuals with cancer, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease, terminal illness, and debilitating medical conditions that cause cachexia, chronic pain, seizures, severe or intractable nausea, or severe and persistent muscle spasms.
The Mississippi Department of Health on June 1 began accepting operator applications and the agency will begin reviewing many of those applications next week. Those who wish to work in the industry must be 21 or older and complete a background check and fingerprinting to apply.
Under the program, patients will be allowed to purchase up to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day, or about three ounces per month – limits struck between lawmakers and Republican Gov. Tate Reeves who had threatened to veto the bill with higher purchase limits. Cannabis products will be taxed at both production and sale, and all products must be grown indoors.
Mississippi voters passed a medical cannabis legalization initiative during the November 2020 elections but that initiative was invalidated by the state Supreme Court in May, which ruled that the effort had been assembled under an outdated signature-gathering process.
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