Updated in June 2022
Mississippi Medical Marijuana Legalization
The legalization of medical marijuana arrived in Mississippi! The state voted in favor of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act on January 26 to ensure the availability and safe access to medical marijuana for qualified persons with debilitating medical conditions.
Mississippi has become the 37th state to legalize medical marijuana after Mississippi voters approved Initiative Measure No. 65 back in November 2021 and the state legislature approved the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act on January 26. This medical marijuana bill allows patients with debilitating medical conditions will now be able to access and make use of medical cannabis, with the approval of a Mississippi licensed physician.
This initiative proposes to amend the Mississippi Constitution to legalize medical marijuana to allow patients with at least one of 22 debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana, under the approval of Mississippi licensed physicians and licensed treatment centers.
The Mississippi State Department of Health will set up a regulated program to establish how medical cannabis will be grown, processed, and made available to ensure safe and secure access for qualified patients. This is an important step forward in ensuring that all patients who could be treated and benefit from medical cannabis have legal and easy access to it.
Is medical marijuana legal in Mississippi?
Yes, it is!. The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act made it possible for people with certain medical conditions could get a medical cannabis license in Mississippi. The medical conditions that qualify cannabis patients include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Illnesses or severe injuries in the spine cord
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Huntington’s disease
- Sickle cell anemia
To get a medical cannabis license in Mississippi, a person must first get a recommendation from a doctor. They then submit an application to the Department of Health. Once they have been approved, they will be able to purchase medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary that will deliver medically prescribed doses.
Medical marijuana has shown to be effective in treating qualifying medical conditions. For example, CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the main compounds in medical marijuana. CBD has been shown to help reduce seizures in people with epilepsy. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is another main compound in medical marijuana. THC has been shown to help relieve pain and improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS. Medical marijuana has also been shown to help reduce the size of tumors and improve the quality of life for people with cancer.
How to obtain a medical cannabis business license in Mississippi
In order to get a medical cannabis business license in Mississippi, applicants must first submit an application to the Mississippi State Department of Health. The application must include a non-refundable fee of $100 and proof that the applicant has met all of the requirements for licensure in compliance with Mississippi medical cannabis law.
Requirements for licensure include:
- Being at least 21 years of age
- Completing an approved medical cannabis education program,
- Passing a criminal background check
- Having a valid Mississippi state license to practice medicine
Once the application is received and reviewed by the Mississippi Department of Health, the applicant will be contacted to schedule an interview. During the interview, the applicant will be asked questions about their business plan and their ability to operate a medical cannabis business in Mississippi.
After the interview, the Department of Health will review all of the information and make a decision on whether or not to issue a license. If a license is granted, the applicant will be required to pay an annual fee of $5,000.
What are the types of business licenses for medical cannabis in MS?
There are six types of business licenses for medical cannabis in the Mississippi legislature:
- Cultivator/Grower: that allows to grow and sell medical marijuana
- Transporter/Delivery: that legal protection and authorization to transport and deliver medical cannabis in the state
- Testing Lab: a license that allows creating, testing, and studying marijuana, its effects, and the uses of cannabis, cannabinoids, THC
- Dispensary: An industry license that allows businesses to distribute and sell marijuana and cannabis products
- Waste Disposal: a cannabis industry license that deals with the correct disposal of marijuana wastes (unprocessed roots, stems, seeds, leaves, etc)
The Mississippi Secretary of State Office is the only regulatory entity that will issue a limited number of licenses, so competition is likely to be fierce. Furthermore, businesses will need to meet strict regulations in order to obtain a license. However, those who are able to obtain a license will be able to tap into a rapidly growing industry that could be worth $22 billion by 2022. As more states legalize medical cannabis, the market is likely to continue to expand, making now an ideal time to start a Mississippi medical cannabis business.
Mississippi Medical Marijuana Laws – Initiative 65 PDF
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What is the limit of medical marijuana allowed in Mississippi?
Patients will be permitted up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every two weeks. Medical marijuana treatments centers are not allowed to provide to qualified patients, during any one fourteen-day period, an amount of medical marijuana that exceeds 2.5 ounces by weight
Patients will be required to apply for a medical marijuana card, which would be renewed annually and can not cost more than a reasonable fee of up to Fifty Dollars
Does Mississippi allow home cultivation?
Since the current Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act only allows growing and cultivating cannabis seeds and plants indoors and in safe, regulated facilities, Mississippi does not permit qualified patients to grow marijuana in their homes.
What is the number of licenses allowed for the Medical Marijuana industry in Mississippi?
Mississippi, contrary to many other states in the United States, does not have a statewide limit for the number of licenses to be granted for medical marijuana treatment centers.
And when it comes to local regulations, zoning provisions applicable to retail dispensaries can be no more restrictive than those for a licensed retail pharmacy, and zoning provisions applicable to other businesses that fall within the definition of medical marijuana treatment centers shall be no more restrictive than other comparably sized and staffed lawful commercial or industrial businesses
The initiative also states that medical marijuana treatment centers have to be located within five hundred feet of a pre-existing school, church, or licensed child care center.
The department has to adopt final rules and regulations no later than July 1, 2021. The department has to begin issuing identification cards and treatment center licenses no later than August 15, 2021
What are the tax rates for Medical Marijuana in Mississippi
According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, there are two taxes associated with medical cannabis licenses:
- 5% excise tax for first sale/exchange for medical cannabis cultivators
- Standard 7% sales tax dispensary must charge to cardholders.
What is 65A Initiative?
Initiative 65A was the legislature’s alternative medical marijuana amendment, that restricted medical cannabis use to terminally ill patients.
It did not specify the qualifying medical condition, possession limits, or a tax rate. Many details would have needed to be set by the medical marijuana law in Mississippi. This initiative did not pass
- Marijuana products would have been produced by manufacturers at a pharmaceutical grade.
- Marijuana could not have been smoked except by those with terminal medical conditions,
- Treatment would have needed to be overseen by licensed physicians, nurses, and pharmacists
What is the future of recreational cannabis in Mississippi?
The future of a recreational marijuana program in Mississippi is promising. The state currently just legalized medical cannabis use, and there is significant interest from businesses in setting up a medical cannabis operation in the state.
However, it is unclear whether the state will allow the recreational use of cannabis. Currently, only eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational cannabis and have a marijuana policy project for adult-use cases. If Mississippi were to legalize recreational cannabis, it would be a major boost to the state’s economy.
Cannabis businesses generate a lot of revenue, and tax revenue from cannabis sales could be used to fund education, infrastructure, and other vital state programs. Moreover, legalizing recreational cannabis would create jobs and generate new economic activity. A recent study estimated that legalizing recreational cannabis in Mississippi could create over 2,000 new jobs and generate $100 million in tax revenue each year. Given the potential benefits, it is likely that the state will eventually legalize recreational cannabis.
Remember: the cannabis industry is heavily regulated and getting help from the industry, and business experts are recommendable.
And lastly, don’t miss out on our Marijuana Legalization Map where you can browse the current status of laws in every state in the United States and see all our posts on each of them.