Mississippi legislation approves bonafide medical marijuana program Mississippi Politics and News

Mississippi legislation approves bonafide medical marijuana program  Mississippi Politics and News

Governor Tate Reeves will either have the option of signing the bill into law, allowing it to go into law without his signature, or vetoing the bill.

Story Highlights:

  • The Mississippi House and Senate have come to an agreement on the implementation of a medical marijuana program for the state. The bill, SB 2095, has been passed with a conference report  and will now head to the Governor.

  • Many Mississippians have been waiting over a year to see a medical marijuana program manifest in the state. Some 74 percent of the population voted in favor of a medical marijuana program, with roughly 64 percent of that group supporting Initiative 65 on the ballot in 2020.

After a failed attempt at a “backup plan bill” in 2021, the striking down of Initiative 65 by the Mississippi Supreme Court due to an improper certification of the ballot initiative, and months of back and forth between the House, Senate and Governor’s office regarding the specifics of the bill, the 2022 version of the medical marijuana program seems to be the one to stick.

Senator @KevinBlackwell5, author of the #medicalmarijuana bill, comments on its passage in the Senate with a “veto proof vote” and says he is hopeful the House will take it up this afternoon. #msleg pic.twitter.com/0MfSkGeA3m

Senator Kevin Blackwell called the Senate’s 46 to 4 vote for passage a “veto proof vote”

— Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) January 26, 2022

The bill was taken up in the House later that afternoon and passed by a vote of 103 to 13

One of the key individuals in the drafting of the bill, Rep. @LeeYanceyMS said this regarding today’s votes #msleg #medicalmarijuana pic.twitter.com/doAVGNEgup — Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) January 26, 2022

“Very thankful the bill passed and doing what’s right for the people in the state of Mississippi,” said Representative Chris Bell. Here are the major points of the bill as presented by the Senate in 2022:

The program should begin accepting applications, registering and licensing ID cards no more than 120 days after passage.
3.0 ounces allowed per month to individual medical marijuana card holder
Potential card holders must have an established relationship with a physician to be prescribed medical marijuana
Mississippi Department of Health will be the ultimate oversight authority to the program (the conference report removed the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce from the program entirely.) MDAH will have ability to contract with outside entities.

A city or county will have authority to enact ordinances or regulations regarding the location of a dispensary.
Dispensaries shall not be within 1,000 feet of a school, church or childcare facility. However, a waiver can be applied for, no less than 500 feet from these entities.

Those in commercial areas must be approved by the local governing authority. The Department of Revenue will be responsible for licensing, inspection and oversight of dispensaries.
Allows cultivators and processors to be located in industrial, agricultural and commercially zoned areas.

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