Here’s what looks to be in the bill.
A summary of what is anticipated to be in the Medical Marijuana bill whether in a special or regular session began circulating on Friday morning as lawmakers received updates from Mississippi legislative leaders.
While this is not a full copy of the proposed legislation, it does outline what lawmakers plan to put into the bill and what Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann will be sharing with Governor Tate Reeves as he considers whether to call a special session in the days ahead.
“Staff from the Governor’s office and legislature met together to discuss it today, and we are looking forward to engaging further,” said Bailey Martin, Press Secretary for Governor Reeves.
On Friday, we spoke exclusively with Senator Kevin Blackwell, who has been integral in the development of the bill since 2021, on more specific details this particular piece of legislation contains. He says the majority of lawmakers are in agreement regarding this piece of legislation.
“As soon as the Mississippi Supreme Court’s decision came down, Senator Blackwell began working on a medical cannabis program which would reflect the will of the people and provide some of the critical components the Constitutional initiative did not anticipate,” Lt. Governor Hosemann said. “Under this program, Mississippians who have debilitating medical conditions which could be relieved by or treated with medical cannabis will have access.”
He also indicated that the program would be up and running within 60 days of passage, according to the current legislation.
A few of the major points are listed here:
General Responsibilities of Departments
MDAC: cultivators / processors / transporters / disposal
- Responsible for licensing and oversight of cannabis cultivation facilities, cannabis-cultivation processing facilities, entities that transport medical cannabis, and entities that dispose of or destroy medical cannabis.
- The MDAC may contract with other governmental agencies and public or private third parties to assist the MDAC with carrying out any of its powers and duties under this chapter. However, the MDAC shall be ultimately responsible for the performance of its powers and duties under this chapter that are exercised by any agency or third party with which the MDAC has contracted under the authority of this subsection.
MDOH: testing / research / ID cards to patients / registering practitioners
- Responsible for licensing and oversight of cannabis testing facilities and cannabis research facilities
- Responsible for licensing process for medical cannabis registry ID cards for patients
- Responsible for registering practitioners
- MDOH shall have ultimate authority for oversight of the administration of the medical cannabis program and shall coordinate activities of MDOH, MDAC, and MDOR.
MDOR: dispensaries / tax collection
- Responsible for licensing, inspection, and oversight of medical cannabis dispensaries
A municipality or county may enact ordinances or regulations not in conflict with this chapter, governing the time, place and manner of medical cannabis establishment operations in the locality.
No municipality or county may prohibit dispensaries that make their operation impracticable in the jurisdiction.
- Entities to cultivate, process, sell or store medical cannabis shall not be within 1,000 feet from the main point of entry of the establishment to the main point of entry of any school, church or childcare facility. *There is a waiver process through the respective licensing authority.
- Dispensary, research or testing facilities may be located in any area that is zoned commercial.
- Cultivation and processing facilities may be located in any area that is zoned agricultural or industrial.
A municipality or county may require a medical cannabis establishment to obtain local licenses, permit, or registration to operate.
No dispensary may be located within 1,500 feet radius from the main point of entry of the dispensary to the main point of entry of another dispensary.
Medical Cannabis taxes
Excise tax: on flower/trim on cannabis cultivation facilities (tax collected by cultivation facilities and remitted to MDOR)
- Excise tax is based on weight of the cannabis at the time the cultivation facility sells or transfers the cannabis product
- $15.00 per ounce of flower or trim
Sales tax: general state sales tax rate on gross receipts or gross proceeds derived from each sale of medical cannabis (tax collected by dispensaries and remitted to MDOR).
Local government option
The cultivation, processing, sale, and distribution of medical cannabis and cannabis product is legal in every county and municipality in Mississippi UNLESS:
- The governing authorities of a municipality or the board of supervisors opt out through a vote of the board within ninety (90) days after the effective date of this act. The governing authority shall publish a notice in accordance with the Open Meetings Act of its intent of holding a vote regarding opting out of allowing the cultivation, processing, sale and/or distribution of medical cannabis and cannabis products. They may opt out of allowing one (1) or more of the following: cultivation, processing, sale or distribution of medical cannabis and cannabis products.
- If the governing authorities of a municipality or the board of supervisors do not opt out within ninety (90) days after the effective date of this act, then no vote by the governing authorities of a municipality or the board of supervisors may be held to so opt out.
- If the governing authorities of a municipality or the board of supervisors opt out, then the citizens can vote to opt back in according to the existing referendum process.
- If the governing authorities of a municipality or the board of supervisors opt out, then the governing board of the municipality or the board of supervisors can vote to opt back in at a later date.
Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee
9-member advisory committee (3 members appointed by Governor, 3 members appointed by Lt. Governor, and 3 members appointed by Speaker), established to advise the Legislature about medical cannabis and cannabis product, patient care, services, and industry.
- Section shall repeal on December 31, 2025
Read the full summary below: