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mississippi marijuana laws 

The Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign, sponsors of Initiative 65, submitted more than 214,000 signatures—105,686 of which were valid. On November 3rd, 2020, voters passed Initiative 65, which amends the constitution and legalizes medical marijuana use and possession of up to 2.5 ounces. 

Initiative 65, which established a constitutional amendment for the use of medical marijuana in Mississippi, has since been invalidated by the Mississippi Supreme Court as of May 14th, 2021.

Since then Governor Reeves of Mississippi has proposed having a special session to enact medical marijuana legislation. He has said so, if  lawmakers could come to a consensus on the medical marijuana access law, which happened on September 20, 2021. Still the Governor refuses to called legislators to a special session to enact a medical marijuana law. 

If Initiative 65 were to have passed it would have had 5 cultivation and processing licenses, and a minimum of 1 dispensary for every county in Mississippi. The department is also establishing retail sale regulations for medical marijuana to meet a July 1, 2021 deadline. 

Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann believes lawmakers will pass a new piece of marijuana legislation during the regular session in 2022. This bill is a medical only bill and does no contain any provisions for adult-use.

 

Under House Bill 1231, CBD oil is decriminalized in the treatment of patients with a diagnosed and debilitating epileptic condition. HB 1231 does not allow for the cultivation or distribution of cannabis infused products. 

Medical Marijuana treatment center licenses are to be issued no later than August 15, 2021, with no license caps, and allowance for vertical integration.

Recreational cannabis use is illegal in Mississippi. 

License Types

There are currently no licenses available in Mississippi. However if Initiative 65 would have been upheld it would have allowed.

5 Cultivators/Processors

1 Dispensary for every county (minimum)

Medical Marijuana

Under this measure, the Department of Health authorizes patients with at least one of the 22 qualifying conditions to purchase medical cannabis as soon as August, 2021. The Mississippi state Department of Health is aiming to construct a medical marijuana program by the target date of August 15, 2021. Under measure 65, regulations for the program relating to production and licensing for retail sale of cannabis must be in place by July 1st, 2021. Under this amendment, patients will need a certification from a physician in order to obtain medical cannabis. According to this measure, regulations set by the Department of Health should not “limit the number of licensed medical marijuana treatment centers nor set the price of medical marijuana.”

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History

Mississippi is illegal for recreational and medical purposes, but use of low-THC/high-CBD products is allowed for severe seizure disorders under 2014 legislation. Possession of small amounts was decriminalized in 1978.  While possession of small amounts is indeed decriminalized, it is still a misdemeanor and only decriminalized in the sense that one will not be jailed for a first offense. Under the Mississippi Code of 1979, possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor, with the first offense punishable by jail time up to 90 days and a $250.00 fine.

 

However, probation is always given in lieu of a jail sentence following the 1978 decriminalization. One will likely be brought to jail when charged, but, at the discretion of the arresting officer, this can be avoided by both having acceptable identification and promising to appear in court to answer the charge. Subsequent offenses require a minimum 5 days in jail and graduating scale of fines. Possession of paraphernalia will result in up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.00.

 

Again, probation is given instead of the jail sentence, and since 1978 there has never been a person sentenced to jail time for possession of paraphernalia in Mississippi. Simultaneous possession of under 30 grams and paraphernalia is punishable only with a possession of marijuana charge. In practice, if found with under 30 grams of marijuana, it is common to receive a paraphernalia charge for the container it was in, instead of a possession charge. This is done to save the state from having to pay testing costs for the marijuana. Possession of between one and 30 grams kept in a vehicle is punishable up to a fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. This only applies to areas in the vehicle occupied by passengers and does not apply to a trunk. Additionally, any conviction will result in a 6 month suspension of driving privileges.

Possession of larger amounts are felonies, as is sale, cultivation and trafficking. For example, the sale of over 10 pounds of marijuana carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole. However, the penalty can be reduced if the person charged provides information on their supplier or other relevant persons to state authorities. Penalties for possession of hash and concentrates is more severe than for marijuana, with any amount greater than 0.1 grams a felony with mandatory sentencing on a graduating scale. First time possession of up to .1 grams can be punished as either a misdemeanor or a felony, at the discretion of the presiding judge. Possession of more than .1 gram but less than 2 grams carries a mandatory 2 years in jail. Trafficking any amount of hash or concentrates carries a mandatory 30 years in the state penitentiary. 

The Mississippi State Legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution 39 as a legislative alternative to the initiative, which will appear on the ballot as Alternative 65A. The vote was 72-49 in the House on March 10, and 34-17 in the Senate on March 12, 2020.

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A group pushing to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi has turned in more than enough signatures pending state certification to get the issue before voters next year.

how to start a marijuana business mississippi

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If you are just starting your marijuana business, the next best step is to start a Business Plan to help educate your team and be ready to apply for a marijuana business license. If you are ready to apply for a Marijuana Business License in Mississippi, please Contact us or call our offices to set an appointment to get started. You can also select another State Opportunity, or fill out our Contact Form to discuss potential strategies such as Investment or Partnership Opportunities.