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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— in September 2019. The initiative was then filed with the state legislature according to Mississippi's indirect initiative process. The legislature had three options: it could (a) choose to adopt the initiative by a majority vote in each house, (b) reject the initiative, or (c) place an alternative measure on the ballot alongside the original initiative. Regardless of whether the legislature adopts or rejects the measure, the proposed amendment proceeds to the ballot.
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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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.
how to start a marijuana business mississippi
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.