In the proposal, the Department of Health outlines who is eligible to be involved in the cannabis program from the growers to the patients.
Since the passage of the Mississippi Cannabis Act, SB 2095, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has been working to craft guidelines for the program. In fact, much of the work began after Initiative 65 passed in November 2020.
On Monday, MSDH released beginning measures, including qualifying conditions, on how to obtain a registry and identification card, how to certify as a practitioner who can prescribe medical marijuana, and much more.
MSDH outlines those who can partake in medical cannabis in Mississippi. The list includes patients who have:
Cancer, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, sickle cell anemia, Alzheimer’s, agitation of dementia, PTSD, autism, pain refractory to opioid management, diabetic/peripheral neuropathy, spinal cord disease, or severe injury; chronic medical treatment that causes cachexia or wasting, severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, or chronic pain.
As outlined in the law, a person may only register and receive an identification card when they are prescribed the medicine by a doctor in which they already have a bona fide relationship with. It will be a $25 fee for a 12-month identification card.
An in-person assessment will be required before patient certification and a six month follow up afterwards.
Those applications will be available on or sooner than June 2, 2022.
A non-resident can receive two 15-day passes in a 12-month period if they need an identification card for purchase of cannabis.
Any physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or optometrist is qualified to register to certify patients for medical cannabis. It will require eight hours of continuing education in medical cannabis for the first year, and five hours every year after.
The program can be opted out of by cities and counties by May 3, 2022. Those areas can opt back in at any time. So far nearly a dozen cities have opted out of joining the program, most recently and expected was Madison the city. Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler first brought a suit against the certification of the medical marijuana initiative on the ballot and won the case, canceling the law before taking effect.
MSDH specifies that any cultivation and processing facilities can be located in agriculture and industrial zones as well and commercial zones with a variance. The facilities must not be within 1,000 feet of a school, church or daycare unless there has been a waiver granted.
Taxes will be collected in order to support the program. All cultivation facilities will pay a 5% excise tax on the sales price or fair market price. The Mississippi Department of Revenue will set that fair market price of flower and trim by November 1, 2022, and will recalculate on January 1 and July 1 of every year after.
All retail purchases will also be subject to sales tax.
Graphic provided by the Mississippi Cannabis Trade Association.