The Mississippi Department of Health continues to plan and implement the state’s new medical marijuana program as set forth by Initiative 65 approved by voters last November.

MSDH is currently working to establish production, regulation and licensing structures in time for the target date of August 15, 2021. Initiative 65 requires that regulations for all aspects of the program, including production and licensing for sale of medical marijuana, must be in place by July 1, 2021.

The Office of Medical Marijuana in MSDH announced Wednesday that they were accepting applications for a Bureau Director II. This position will be responsible for leadership and oversight for the Bureau of Licensure within the Office of Medical Marijuana. That Bureau will be responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of licensure regulations for entities seeking to become licensed dispensaries, growers, processors, and the like of medical marijuana.  It will also review and make determination regarding applicants seeking licensure as well as oversee the maintenance of the patient, caregiver, and certified physician registries.

Also on Wednesday, MSDH in conjunction with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office released the proposed new regulations for medical marijuana testing facilities in the state.

These are described as any facility, entity or site that offers or performs testing of medical marijuana or medical marijuana products, including the equipment provided by such laboratory, facility, or entity and that is licensed/certified by the Department. An independent medical marijuana testing facility may acquire, possess, test and transport medical marijuana and medical marijuana products between its licensed premises and other licensed premises.

All applicants for an independent medical marijuana testing facility certification must complete the application document required by MSDH and include the documentation outlined in the regulations, pay appropriate fees to the Department, and be certified by the Department prior to initiating any testing related to medical marijuana.

You can read the proposed regulations below.

REGULATIONS FOR INDEPENDENT MEDICAL MARIJUANA TESTING FACILITY by yallpolitics on Scribd

MSDH held a meeting on March 26 to discuss where they stand on the implementation of the medical marijuana program.  Dr. Thomas Dobbs said the department was a little behind on the IT side but they are still planning to open the public comment period in mid-April.

Initiative 65 which is in force as a constitutional amendment guiding the implementation of the Mississippi medical marijuana program will be reviewed for whether it was properly on the ballot before voters by the Mississippi Supreme Court.  Madison Mayor Mark Hawkins Butler challenged the process by which the initiative gathered the required signatures to put the referendum on the ballot.  Justices will hear arguments in the case on April 14.