In November 2020, the voters in Mississippi approved ‘Initiative 65’ which created a state medical marijuana program. After this, the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned the initiative in May 2021 ruling that the election law governing voter ballot initiative required signatures was out-of-date which caused a scramble for lawmakers to craft a bill that would work. The result of this was Senate Bill 2095 which is the “Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act” which was approved in January 2022.
Mississippi Cannabis License Retail applications are opening in July and will be the only license type governed by the Department of Revenue. Applications for all other business types (cultivation, processing, etc) were opened to the public on June 1st and are governed by the Department of Health. Already Mississippi’s cannabis license application portal has nearly 2000 users.
In this blog, we’ll bring you the latest Regulatory News regarding Mississippi’s Medical Marijuana programs.
Mississippi’s Medical Marijuana Application Portal:
So far although more than two dozen cities have opted out of the Mississippi medical marijuana program (view list here) the program’s launch is expected to be quite effective. Doctor’s applications are being prioritized over patient applications and are expected to be approved within 30 days under the new program’s rules. The application portal already contains over 1800 online accounts of people looking to apply for licenses according to the state Department of Health.
The majority of accounts on the new online portal are of patients that are seeking cannabis treatment. But 15 businesses and 9 doctors have completed their applications for work permits. These applications are being prioritized as they’re required for cannabis-related jobs. There will be a different process for those wanting to open Mississippi medical marijuana dispensaries as of July 1st according to the Mississippi Department of Revenue.
How to get a Mississippi Medical Marijuana License?
While the Online Marijuana Application Portal remains active a number of cultivators have already started the construction of their facilities to have products available by the end of 2022. The Department of Health has said that they are hopeful that they’ll be able to approve a full marijuana application within the first five days of submission but this largely depends on the license type (doctor, patient, cultivation, etc). Physicians have to register with the Department of Health and complete 8 hours of medical cannabis education through their online system.
What Impact will Mississippi Marijuana Legalization have on State culture?
It is projected that by the year 2025, medical cannabis in Mississippi will bring in $800 million annually according to the communications director of the Mississippi Cannabis Trade Association. Director Melvin Robinson said “with developing this program, you will see the culture change. It’s gone from “weed” to cannabis, and people are talking about the medicinal effects.”
According to Melvin Robinson, “we will have unlimited numerical licensing caps. It’s not one of those things where you’ll have to pay a million dollars to get a license,” he said. “There’s definitely room for everyone to get involved. “When California went medical in 1996, it took them 7,000 days before they went recreational.
Massachusetts took 1,500 days. For each state that’s bringing the program, you see the timeframe getting less and less,” he said. “I’m of the opinion Mississippi will have recreational in three years. And I see cannabis being decriminalized in that period as well. The writing is on the wall.”
Melvin Robinson believes that the legalization of medical marijuana will make it much more likely that the state approves recreational cannabis in the near future and that the timeline has shrunk.
How can Cannabis License Experts help you achieve licensure in Mississippi?
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Contact us today to discover how we can license and legalize your cannabis business to meet federal or provincial regulations.