Cannabis Law: The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act Overview
The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act was officially signed into law by Governor Tate Reeves on Feb. 2, 2022. The Mississippi Department of Health has 120 days before they can administer medical marijuana licenses. Cultivators can begin planting seeds in July.
The Mississippi Department of Health (MDOH) has the ultimate authority and oversight over the medical cannabis program. The MDOH is responsible for licensing, oversight and inspection of testing facilities and research facilities. The MDOH is also responsible for licensing cannabis cultivation facilities, processing facilities, transportation entities and disposal entities. Qualifying patients will be issued identification cards by the MDOH. Practitioners will also be registered through the MDOH. Finally, the MDOH will oversee the Seed-to-Sale tracking system.
The Mississippi Department of Revenue (MDOR) is responsible for licensing, inspecting and overseeing all Mississippi medical cannabis dispensaries.
Qualifying patients will be able to receive a maximum amount of 3 ounces a month or 2.8 grams per day.
The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act can be recommended by medical professionals for the treatment of 22 medical conditions, including cancer and epilepsy. Any Mississippi resident may petition the MDOH to add serious medical conditions or their treatments to the current list.
Physicians (M.D. and D.O.), certified nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants and optometrists can recommend medical cannabis for qualified patients. The patient and the practitioner must be in a bona fide practitioner/patient relationship within the practitioner’s scope of practice. The qualified patients must have a follow-up visit with the practitioner within six months from the original certification of the debilitating condition.
Practitioners will be allowed to certify patients after completing the required application process. The practitioner will also be required to complete at least eight hours of continuing education in medical cannabis in order to issue certifications. After the first year of being registered, practitioners will only be required to complete a minimum of five hours of continuing education in medical cannabis annually to maintain registration.
Only physicians and doctors of osteopathic medicine may issue written certifications to minors.
Nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, assisted living facilities, personal care homes, adult day care facilities or adult foster care facilities may adopt reasonable restrictions on the use of medical cannabis in their facilities. Restrictions may involve storage, administration, oversight and placement.
Facilities are limited from unreasonably restricting a qualifying patient in their facility from using medical cannabis, unless the facility would lose a monetary or licensing-relating benefit under federal law or regulations.
The Mississippi state sales tax of 7% will apply to all medical cannabis sales. A 5% excise tax will also be applied to all cultivation facilities.
City and county rights
Cities and counties will be able to “opt out” of participating with the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act. The city or county wishing to opt out must do so through a vote by the board of supervisors of the county or the governing authorities of the municipalities within 90 days from Feb. 2, 2022.