Quick Facts on the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program for Industry Members

Conner Reeves

Quick Facts on the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program for Industry Members

Mississippi became the 37th state to have a medical cannabis program when the Mississippi Legislature overwhelmingly adopted Senate Bill 2095 in January 2022. This program is very close to what Mississippi voters approved through Initiative 65 in November 2020 and will create a lot of opportunities for patients and new industry members.

We’ve reviewed the new law and have summarized key points below for anyone that is contemplating applying for a medical cannabis license when the program launches in a few months.

Timeline

  • Cities and counties have until May 3, 2022 to OPT OUT of the cannabis program. Each can fully opt out, meaning no licensed cannabis business can operate in that jurisdiction, or they can choose which types of licensees to allow. If they opt out, they can opt back in later or voters can gather signatures for a special election on whether to opt back in.
  • The MS Department of Health has until June 2, 2022 and the MS Department of Revenue has until July 2, 2022 to adopt regulations and activate an application process for licensees. Both agencies have 30 days to accept or reject an application once submitted.

Agencies Involved

  • The MS Department of Health will issue licenses for and regulate all license types except dispensaries, which fall under the MS Department of Revenue.
  • Certifying providers include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and optometrists. Each profession’s respective licensure board will likely adopt regulations particular to those professions’ involvement as certifiers.

License Types and Fees

Generally, the licenses available fall into several categories detailed below. Those include cultivators, processors, dispensaries, laboratories, transporters, and disposal companies.

CULTIVATORS: able to grow medical cannabis and dry cannabis flower in an enclosed building. Square footage is measured in actual canopy area of growing plants, not total square feet of the building
  Canopy Square Feet One-time Application Fee Annual License Fee Additional Requirements
Microcultivators       Must be 100% owned by a Mississippi resident(s)
Tier 1 Less than 1,000 $1,500 $2,000  
Tier 2 1,000 - 2,000 $2,500 $3,500  
Cultivators       Must have at least 35% ownership by a Mississippi resident. This requirement ends 12/31/2022
Tier 1 2,000 - 5,000 $5,000 $15,000  
Tier 2 5,000 - 15,000 $10,000 $25,000  
Tier 3 15,000 - 30,000 $20,000 $50,000  
Tier 4 30,000 - 60,000 $30,000 $75,000  
Tier 5 60,000 - 100,000 $40,000 $100,000  
Tier 6 More than 100,000 $60,000 $150,000  

 

PROCESSORS- Creates medical cannabis products such as edibles, vapes, oils, etc. Required if a cultivator is creating any product other than dried flower.
  Pounds of Dried Biomass Processed Annually One-time Application Fee Annual License Fee Additional Requirements
Microprocessors       Must be 100% owned by a Mississippi resident(s)
Tier 1 Less than 2,000 $2,000 $3,500  
Tier 2 2,000 - 3,000 $2,500 $5,000  
Processor More than 3.000 $15,000 $20,000 Must have at least 35% ownership by a Mississippi resident. This requirement ends 12/31/2022

 

DISPENSARY- licensed to sell cannabis products at retail
One-time Application Fee Annual License Fee Additional Requirements
$15,000 $25,000 May not own more than 5.

 

TRANSPORTATION- licensed to transport products between facilities
One-time Application Fee Annual License Fee Additional Requirements
$5,000 $7 ,500  

 

DISPOSAL- licensed to dispose of non-compliant product
One-time Application Fee Annual License Fee Additional Requirements
$5,000 $7 ,500  

 

TESTING FACILITY- third party that tests products and produces a certificate of analysis for finished goods
One-time Application Fee Annual License Fee Additional Requirements
$10,000 $15,000  

 

RESEARCH FACILITY- tests product for research and development, not for certificate of analysis as required by the State
One-time Application Fee Annual License Fee Additional Requirements
$10,000 $15,000  

 

Zoning and Distance

Dispensaries, research facilities and testing labs may be located in an area in a county or city that is zoned commercial or for which commercial use is authorized.

Cultivation facilities and processing facilities may be located in an area in a county or city that is zoned agricultural or industrial or for which agricultural or industrial is authorized.

The main entrance of a licensed facility must not be within 1,000 feet of the property line of any school, church, or daycare. If within 1,000 feet, the applicant must obtain a waiver from the school, church, or daycare.

No dispensary may be located within 1,500 feet from the main point of entry of the dispensary to the main point of entry of another medical cannabis dispensary.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming an industry member through Mississippi’s medical cannabis program, we suggest reaching out to the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association (3MA). 3MA recently announced their industry-specific convention to be held in Jackson, Mississippi on May 5-6, 2022.

In addition to working with Medical Marijuana 2020 (the campaign behind Initiative 65) and with 3MA, our firm has been working with clients who plan on entering Mississippi’s medical cannabis market when licenses are available. You can also email us directly at conner@mclaughlinpc.com or matthew@mclaughlinpc.com with any questions.

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Conner Reeves

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