Mississippi law legalizing medical cannabis begins Friday

Published 4:48 pm Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Mississippi law legalizing medical cannabis will go into effect on Friday, July 1.

The bill will create a medical marijuana program for people with serious medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS and sickle cell disease.

Patients with terminal or debilitating diseases or medical conditions that produce cachexia, chronic pain, seizures, severe or intractable nausea or severe and persistent muscle spasms can also qualify for the program.

The law may go into effect on Friday but Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program Director Kris Jones said dispensaries and facilities will open later in the year.

“We anticipate that it will probably be the end of the calendar year before there is a legal product that is available through the dispensaries and that is because businesses have to get established, they have to hire and they have to get crops in the ground,” said Jones.

The Mississippi Department of Health is the primary agency that will be over the medical cannabis program and will handle the licensing, regulating and enforcement of laws relating to patient cards, medical practitioners, cannabis cultivation facilities, cannabis processing facilities, cannabis testing facilities, cannabis waste disposal entities and cannabis transportation entities.

MSDH opened its medical cannabis licensing system on June 1 to a notable influx of applicants.

There are seven different categories of regulations for medical cannabis as part of the Mississippi Administrative Code. The seven categories of regulations can be found on the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.ms.gov or the MSDH’s website at msdh.ms.gov.

The regulations will cover cannabis testing facilities, the MMCP registry, marketing and advertising, cannabis cultivation and processing facilities, transport entities, medical cannabis waste management and cannabis workers.

Those who wish to work in the medical cannabis industry must be 21 years or older and must have a background check and fingerprinting to apply.

Applications for cannabis cultivation, processing, and cannabis waste management facilities are now available and can be found on the MSDH’s website. All applications and pre-application checklists can be found on the site as well.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue will begin accepting and reviewing applications for medical cannabis business licenses at 8 a.m. on July 5. DOR will then issue licenses within 30 days of receiving the completed application, including all required information and documents.

The city of Oxford will start applications and issuing medical cannabis business licenses on July 7, 30 days after the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved the creation of a new license to be issued by the City Clerk’s office for a medical cannabis business.