The main sticking point is the amount of marijuana allowed per individual and the THC content.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves says discussions are still ongoing on the medical marijuana bill and until those negotiations are finalized, there will not be a special session. With the start of the 2022 legislative session just weeks away, the Governor says a special session is possible but he and lawmakers must first come to an agreement.
Lawmakers have had years to work on a medical marijuana program in Mississippi, but chose not to make it a priority until after the state Supreme Court struck down the initiative process by which Initiative 65 was passed that would have forced the creation of the program.
Due to previous legislative inaction, Governor Reeves now has the opportunity to engage in the process more robustly and negotiate the bill to implement the medical marijuana program, holding the sole ability to call a special session on the matter if the details can be worked out to his liking.
Reeves, speaking at an event with the Mississippi Poultry Association on Monday, told reporters that the sticking points in the bill between his office and lawmakers is the amount of medical marijuana and the THC content in that product that can be obtained at one time.
“Really the one key piece left is with respect to how much marijuana can any one individual get at any one point in time and what is the THC content of that marijuana. And so that’s really the last piece that we’re working on,” Governor Reeves said.
Reeves said the levels that are in the current drafts of the bill that have been floating around are higher than he is comfortable with but would not get into details, saying he did not want to negotiate the bill at a press conference.
The Governor also said the original draft of the bill prohibited the Mississippi Department of Public Safety from having any role in the medical marijuana program.
“Clearly, I wasn’t going to agree to that,” Reeves said, adding that through discussions they have made some improvements on the bill.
Governor Reeves said his ultimate goal is to get a bill passed that is truly medical marijuana that has strict rules in place to ensure the will of the people is heard on implementing a program.
He said he does not believe the people of Mississippi want a recreational marijuana in the state, and he does not as well, which is why the content of THC and the amount of the product allowed per person per purchase is key.
Governor Reeves told reporters that his office has listened to the concerns from more lawmakers than just the “small cadre of individuals” who have worked on the bill.
“We’re hopeful that we get this done sooner rather than later and as soon as we can get a final agreement, we’ll get it done,” the Governor said.