Progress towards medical cannabis inches forward in Mississippi
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Medical cannabis for qualified patients in Mississippi inches closer to becoming a reality.
The Mississippi Department of Revenue announced that they will begin accepting applications for dispensaries on July 5.
Applications and registrations for patients and medical practitioners, as well as facets of cannabis production began June 1 through the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDOH).
The work of both agencies stem from the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, which became law back in February. The framework for legalized medicinal marijuana in Mississippi was delayed by roughly a year due to the overturning of Initiative 65 by the Mississippi Supreme Court in May of 2021.
Ken Newburger is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association, which was established in 2020. From Initiative 65′s conception in 2018 to now, Newburger has relentlessly pushed for medical marijuana in the Magnolia State.
“We are at the end of the initial lawmaking and rulemaking, and we’re now at the point where the program is launching,” said Newburger. “So the plane is getting off the ground.”
Patients with conditions covered under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act can go to a physician to complete medical certification from the MSDOH. Patients can then apply to participate in the medical cannabis program. Upon acceptance into the program, the patients will receive a patient identification card that they can use to purchase medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary. An infographic from the MDOH website outlines the process here.
The next anticipated stop in the rolling-out process is where patients will be able to buy their medicinal marijuana from a licensed dispensary. Estimates for first purchase dates will be determined by the average growth of the cannabis plant, which will start being planted in July.
Newburger anticipates purchases starting by early December of this year or early January of next year. In the meantime, he believes that a good place in the process has been reached.
“At this point, I think we’re moving very much towards what the spirit of Initiative 65 was, which is to get patients medical marijuana,” said Newburger.
More information pertaining to dispensary application can be accessed here.
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