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Conner Reeves

Mississippi WILL have a medical marijuana program....but it's all in the details.

Since the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Initiative 65 in May of this year, many patients, business owners, and voters have been anxiously waiting to find out whether the Mississippi Legislature would honor voters’ intentions and pass a bill to create a medical marijuana program. While naysayers and opponents attempted to continue to keep medical marijuana out of Mississippi, a strong coalition has fought to keep this issue at the forefront and not let it wither away on the vine. Now, it appears that a medical marijuana program is more likely than not.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s devastating decision, our firm, along with the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association and its members, advocated for a legislative fix built on the foundation of the concepts present in Initiative 65. These “4 Pillars” embody what Mississippi voters already approved and are likely to be the basis for a bill that could very well come up in a special session of the Mississippi Legislature. 

The 4 Pillars include:

1- Broad access for patients

2- Decision rights for certifying healthcare providers

3- Free market

4- Sustainable revenue model and reasonable regulations

Lawmakers from both chambers have been working all summer to craft a bill with enough consensus to warrant a special session being called, which Governor Tate Reeves has made clear is a major requirement for him to do so. From recent interviews with key legislators and Governor Tate Reeves, it appears a special session is imminent and Mississippi voters will get what they want.  While no bill has been released to the public yet, discussions with lawmakers reveal that the 4 Pillars are largely addressed in the forthcoming legislation. While there is still plenty of time for negotiations on a final version and plenty of opportunities for amendments, the outlook on an actual medical marijuana program in Mississippi is sunny.

If a special session is called in the next couple of weeks, the application process for business owners, such as grow facilities and dispensaries, should begin in early 2022. With a roughly 6-month lag time before cannabis plants can be harvested, patients are likely to be able to purchase products sometime next summer if the program doesn’t hit any major snags. One major influence on a timeline is the adoption of regulations by the state agency or agencies involved in a medical marijuana program. With the work the Mississippi Department of Health already did early this year, that agency is already primed to pick up where they left off, which should hopefully speed up the timeframe for patients to get the relief they’ve been waiting on.

If you’ve got questions about obtaining a medical marijuana business license, call me directly at 601-487-4550 or send an email to Conner@McLaughlinPC.com. We’re working with dozens of cannabis entrepreneurs and would be happy to discuss what that can look like for you.

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Conner Reeves

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We MAY have a medical marijuana bill
Posted on: 09/24/2021
The Mississippi Legislature has reached a compromise on a draft framework for the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act. As someone that has been intimately involved in the Initiative 65 process since its inception, my belief is this draft framework is a very good start.

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Mississippi WILL have a medical marijuana program...but it's all in the details
Posted on: 09/23/2021
Since the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Initiative 65 earlier this year, patients, business owners, and voters have been waiting to find out if the Mississippi Legislature would honor voters’ intentions and pass a bill to create a medical marijuana program. Now, it appears that a medical marijuana program is likely.

Read More