At issue continues to be THC levels, amount of product allowed at any one time.
Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann now believes the Legislature will consider the medical marijuana bill when the 2022 regular session convenes in January instead of in a special session called by Governor Tate Reeves. This according to an interview with WCBI.
While he says he believes it will be one of the best in the country and it is basically complete, Hosemann said his office was still meeting with interested parties, such as sheriffs, about provisions in the medical marijuana bill.
“I think it’s one of the best in the country, for making sure it’s individuals who need medical marijuana, or cancer victims, or autism, or other issues like that. They can get what they need, while we didn’t proliferate the use of drugs in Mississippi,” Hosemann told WCBI. “So I think we’ve done a good job, it will go through committee as it usually does, there may be some nuances, we’re meeting with sheriffs about some things they want in there, but basically it’s complete.”
The sticking point for some lawmakers and for Governor Reeves is the amount of medical marijuana and the THC content in that product that can be obtained at any 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 told reporters earlier this week.
State Senator Walter Michel expressed similar concerns to the Madison County Journal. He noted that testimony in Senate hearings on the issue raised lawmakers’ attention as to the potency of marijuana cigarettes and the amount purchasers would be allowed.
This appears to confirm what Governor Reeves also noted on Tuesday when he told reporters that his office was listening to the concerns from more lawmakers than just the “small cadre of individuals” who have worked on the bill.
Senator Michel told the Madison County Journal that he was confident medical marijuana is an issue that can be debated and solved in the upcoming regular session in January, a refrain Lt. Governor Hosemann has now seemingly taken up as well.
Both Hosemann and Speaker Philip Gunn have encouraged Governor Reeves to call lawmakers back to the Capitol.
If the medical marijuana bill is not handled in a special session, the legislation would be subject to the normal legislative process during the regular session, complete with more committee hearings, potential amendments, and floor debate.
However, if Governor Reeves and lawmakers can negotiate the final points at issue between the two branches, the Governor could call a special session prior to the start of the regular session or even in the midst of the regular session. Doing so would allow the Governor to set the agenda and require lawmakers to only focus on the matters as outlined within the special call.
Governor Reeves has said he was willing to call a special session to address medical marijuana but not until his office and lawmakers have come to an agreement. Reeves has repeatedly said he does not want to see taxpayer dollars expended for a lengthy special session.