On 2020 Ballot
There are currently no medical marijuana laws in Mississippi. However, there are two competing initiatives that will appear on the Nov 2020 ballot to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri. If passed, both initiatives, Initiative 65 and Alternative 65A, will allow for the establishment of a medical marijuana program in Mississippi for qualifying patients to access medical marijuana through state licensed businesses. Learn more about how to get a Mississippi medical marijuana business license or schedule a complimentary consultation with our licensing expert, below.
When to Apply
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NUMBER OF MARIJUANA BUSINESS LICENSES AVAILABLE
Mississippi Medical Marijuana Business License under Initiative 65: If passed, the state will allow for an unlimited number of medical marijuana treatment centers. A medical marijuana treatment center is an entity registered with and licensed and regulated by the department, that processes medical marijuana, related supplies, and/or educational materials. A treatment center may engage in one or more of the activities involved in the processing of medical marijuana. The processing of medical marijuana includes acquiring, administering, compounding, converting, cultivating, delivering, developing, disbursing, dispensing, distributing, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, packaging, possessing, preparing, processing, producing, propagating, researching, selling, testing, transporting, or transferring
medical marijuana or any related products such as foods, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments.
Furthermore, medical marijuana treatment centers cannot be located within 500 feet of a pre-existing school, church or licensed child care center.
Mississippi Medical Marijuana Business License under Alternative 65A: If passed, the medical marijuana program shall provide for a limited number of state-licensed manufacturers of marijuana products. The number of licenses will be determined by the regulating department during the rulemaking process.
HOW TO START A MARIJUANA BUSINESS IN MISSISSIPPI
For states that are pending legalization, like Mississippi, we encourage those interested in starting a marijuana business, to focus on establishing your Business and Financial plans.
Schedule for a complimentary 15-min consult with our licensing/application expert to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.
ENHANCED OVERVIEW OF MARIJUANA IN MISSISSPPI
On April of 2014, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a limited medical marijuana bill (also known as Harper Grace’s Law), providing legal protection for the use and possession of CBD oil for state residents suffering from a debilitating epileptic condition. The limited program only allowed for the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi to produce the oil while the Department of Pharmacy Services at the University of Mississippi to dispense the CBD oil. On November 30, 2017, the Mississippi Department of Health announced the addition of autism and obstructive sleep apnea to the state’s limited program.
In 2019, a campaign group, Mississippians for Compassionate Care, proposed an initiative to legalize medical marijuana, to be on the Nov 2020 ballot. Additionally, the Mississippi State Legislature passed Alternative 65A, a legislative alternative to Initiative 65, that will also appear on the Nov 2020 ballot.
Ballot – Vote YES on Initiative 65
Initiative 65: The initiative was filed with the Mississippi State Legislature on January 7, 2020. The campaign group submitted more than 214,000 signatures in September 2019, with only 86,185 valid signatures needed to qualify to appear on the ballot, 105,686 of the 214,000 submitted signatures were found to be valid.
The initiative was put forward by citizen advocates, would allow patients with qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana. The Mississippi State Department of Health would be responsible for regulating and enforcing the provisions of this proposed medical marijuana program, to include but not limited to the following:
- 20 qualifying medical conditions, including PTSD, cancer, glaucoma, and epilepsy.
- Patients will be limited to obtaining or possessing no more than 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana every 14 days.
- Homegrown will not be permitted.
- Undefined number of “medical marijuana treatment centers,” the initiative’s term for cultivation, manufacturing, processing, and dispensary facilities.
- Patients will need to renew their state medical marijuana cards annually.
Alternative 65A: With the same goal of legalizing medical marijuana, the alternative proposed by Republican state legislators, presents a more conservative and restrictive version of Initiative 65. Former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) opposes Initiative 65, and organized Alternative 65A, which restricts smoking marijuana to terminally ill patients only; and require pharmaceutical-grade marijuana products and treatment oversight by licensed physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. Mississippi House Democrats argue that Alternative 65A was designed to confuse voters by placing a similar initiative on the Nov 2020 ballot to dilute the vote to legalize medical marijuana through Initiative 65.
MISSISSIPPI MARIJUANA TIMELINE
April 2014 – Harper Grace’s Law was signed into law, decriminalizing medical marijuana and allowing for limited access to CBD oil.
November 2017 – Autism and obstructive sleep apnea were added as a qualifying medical condition to the state’s limited program.
September 2019 – Mississippians for Compassionate Care submitted over 105,000 signatures to the Secretary of State for Initiative 65 to qualify to be on the November 2020 ballot
January 2020 – The Secretary of State confirmed Initiative 65 qualified to appear on the Nov 2020 ballot
November 3, 2020 – State residents to vote on both medical marijuana ballot initiatives, Initiative 65 or Alternative 65A.
*July 2021 – State shall adopt final rules and regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program.
*August 2021 – State shall begin issuing patient identification cards and medical marijuana treatment center licenses.
*Timelines are based on the passing of Initiative 65. The alternative initiative, Alternative 65A, had limited information included in the initiative language and did not provide a timeline to implement the proposed medical marijuana program.
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