Mississippi’s Medical Cannabis Act is now law after Governor Tate Reeves added his signature – albeit grudgingly.
Governor Reeves had five days from the day the bill landed on his desk on the 27th to either veto it, sign it or let it pass without his signature. He chose to sign, but in a Facebook post stated:
“I have made it clear that the bill on my desk is not the one that I would have written …. Now, hopefully, we can put this issue behind us and move on to other pressing matters facing our state.”
The somewhat watered down bill stipulates registered patients will be able to purchase 3.5 grams of flower, or one gram of concentrate, or or 100 milligrams of THC in an infused product daily, over 6 days a week. Patients will be limited to a maximum of 84 grams of flower, a whisker under 3 ounces, over 30 days.
Governor Reeves noted:
“The “medical marijuana bill” has consumed an enormous amount of space on the front pages of the legacy media outlets across Mississippi over the last 3+ years.”
… and for good reason given how it all evolved.
A ballot initiative in 2020 to legalise medical cannabis attracted 69.2% voter support. However, a Supreme Court decision in May last year ruled the ballot initiative invalid due to a technicality, creating furore. Then Governor Reeves stood in the way of new legislation, threatening to veto it after stating before the election he would not officially oppose it if approved by Mississippi voters. His main sticking point were permitted quantities, which were subsequently reduced from a 5 ounce monthly flower limit.
Even up until just before he signed, it wasn’t clear which way the Governor would go.
While the bill is signed and effective immediately, this long road isn’t at an end yet for patients in Mississippi who could benefit from medical cannabis.
The Mississippi State Department of Health announced on Friday it is currently working to establish licensing and patient registry structures; with plans to start accepting online license applications for patients, medical practitioners, cannabis cultivation facilities and other stakeholders by June 2022.