An overview of the medical and recreational marijuana laws in Mississippi
PUBLISHED MARCH 12, 2021; UPDATED MAY 14, 2021
In January 2020, a citizen-initiated measure, Medical marijuana 2020, to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi qualified for the November 2020 ballot as measure 65, and it was overwhelmingly approved by 74% of voters. There have been some legislative issues recently, but the state is working hard to implement its medical marijuana program by summer 2021.
Under Mississippi’s cannabis dispensary laws, The Mississippi State Department of Health is in charge of planning out all the requirements to implement a successful medical marijuana program for the state and will be regulating all laws and licensing requirements for the same. All Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers will be registered with, licensed, and regulated by the Mississippi Department of Health. MSDH has started working on establishing production and licensing structures in time for the target date of August 15, 2021. Initiative 65 requires that regulations and laws for all aspects of the medical marijuana program, including cannabis production and licensing for medical marijuana sales, must be in place by July 1, 2021. The state has not put any limit on the number of legal licenses that will be awarded, and the medical marijuana market in Mississippi is expected to grow rapidly once laws are implemented. Keep checking the MSDH website for updated information on the state’s medical-marijuana program.
Below, we’ve provided answers to as many questions as possible relating to Mississippi’s medical dispensary laws and licensing process. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available. This page is informational only and should not be considered legal advice.
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An overview of the medical and recreational marijuana laws in Mississippi
Mississippi residents approved Initiative 65 in the November 2020 election, which legalizes only the use of medical cannabis as a treatment for 22 qualifying debilitating conditions. Qualifying patients, regardless of age, are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every 2 weeks. The MSDH is setting up a process for physicians to recommend medical marijuana to patients with certain debilitating conditions and allow such patients or their caregivers to purchase and possess cannabis as medicine. Marijuana can be consumed at the patient’s discretion but at no one time shall a qualified patient possess more than 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana to prepare edible products, topicals, ointments, oils, tinctures, or other products.
Possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis or 10 grams of synthetic cannabinoids, without a qualifying medical patient card, is punishable by a fine of $100 to $250 for the first offense, and penalties are higher for any subsequent offenses.
Patients with the following conditions can qualify for medical marijuana use in Mississippi:
Or another medical condition of the same kind or class as those enumerated and for which a physician believes the benefits of using medical marijuana would reasonably outweigh potential health risks.
Check out this comprehensive list of FAQs on Mississippi’s medical marijuana program.
No. Qualified patients may only obtain medical marijuana from licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers.
Although marijuana was decriminalized in some form decades ago in Mississippi, cultivation is still prohibited and is punishable based upon the aggregate weight of the plants found with a person, corresponding to possession over the legal limit. Consumption only for medical use is legal, but medical marijuana cultivation is not allowed either.
Mississippi medical marijuana users may only consume approved medical cannabis in the privacy of their homes.
Everything you need to know about opening a medical cannabis business in Mississippi.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is in charge of awarding licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries (Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers) but currently, no applications are being accepted as it is still in the process of implementing the medical marijuana program, and has not released any regulations or licensed any providers at this time. All cannabis licensing regulations and requirements are expected to be released by July 1, 2021.
A medical marijuana business is one that has applied for and received a license from the Mississippi Department of Health to cultivate, process, test, or sell medical marijuana. This may include cultivation facilities, testing facilities, and dispensing centers (Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers) where patients can purchase the medicine.
Anyone 21 years of age or older can apply for a license. They must not have previously held a license for any type of licensed entity participating in the medical marijuana program in Mississippi or any other state that has been revoked by the state licensing authority.
A minimum of 25 percent of the controlling ownership must be held by a current Mississippi resident. Entities may hold more than one license type at one time
The MSDH will start accepting requests for medical dispensary licenses from July 2021. Look for licensing requirements and other details on the MSDH website as they are developed.
Here are the main requirements for License Application
-Evidence of authorization to occupy a location for dispensary (e.g., confirmation of land ownership, identification of mortgages and lienholders, lease agreements, contingency agreements for sale or lease based on licensure status)
-Plan for operating as a cultivator, manufacturer, or dispensary
-Timeline for beginning operations at the identified location
-Tax identification number issued by the Mississippi Department of Revenue
When forming a Mississippi company, or registering a foreign company to do business in Mississippi, potential applicants must register with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office. As a part of this registration, entities are required to select a NAICS Code as part of the formation or registration. If the company is interested in being licensed as a part of the Medical Marijuana Program, the applicable NAICS Codes are 111419, 424590, 453998, and 111998. Applicants should choose from one of those available codes in order to complete the registration of their medical marijuana business in Mississippi.
We'll update more details on the application process as they are released.
Learn how to remain compliant with Mississippi’s medical marijuana laws.
Medical Marijuana Treatment centers must be zoned and treated like pharmacies. No marijuana treatment center can be located within 500 feet of a school, church, or licensed child care center. Local zoning ordinances must not impair the availability of and reasonable access to medical marijuana, and zoning can't be any more restrictive on them than it is on regular retail pharmacies. Hence, most pharmacy regulations will apply to medical marijuana dispensaries as well.
Licensed marijuana dispensaries may sell cannabis to qualifying patients or their caregivers with a valid medical marijuana patient card that serves as identification for qualified patients and caregivers that employees of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers must verify. Medical Marijuana ID Cards are required for patients to purchase their medicine and will allow dispensaries to track the amounts purchased within the medical marijuana database, which each Medical Marijuana Treatment Center will have to use to dispense medication to patients.
Marijuana products can be sold in varying forms, including flowers, beverages, topicals, patches, tinctures, sprays, juices, smoke joints, vapes, edibles, capsules, lozenges, creams, and ointments. Offering medical marijuana in multiple forms allows patients to utilize their treatment in the way that works best for them. The preferred method will depend upon patients’ preferences for ingestion, and the type of pain and symptoms they wish to alleviate.
The Mississippi Department of Health will regulate requirements for employees of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers. Employees will be able to assist each patient at the Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers to help them find and choose what may work best for them.
Mississippi state sales tax rate of 7% would apply to purchases of medical cannabis, with local municipalities permitted to impose an additional 1% tax. Tax revenues will be used exclusively to fund the medical marijuana program itself.
The program will also generate revenue for the state through medical cards (which should cost no more than $50) and licensing fees for businesses.
No. INITIATIVE 65 is pro-small businesses in Mississippi. Mississippi medical marijuana is a free market, and there will not be a limit imposed on marijuana business licenses. However, each medical marijuana business will have to apply to and be approved and licensed by the Mississippi Department of Health.
Non-refundable application fees are as follows:
The health department will adopt final rules and regulations by July 1, 2021. The rules and regulations may not limit the number of medical marijuana treatment centers.
The department shall begin issuing identification cards and marijuana treatment center licenses by August 15, 2021.
Every regulated cannabis market has its tracking and reporting requirements. Find out how Mississippi monitors commercial cannabis activity.
Most states require dispensaries and cannabis stores to track and trace all of their cannabis products for regulatory and compliance reporting requirements. Records identifying the source of each ingredient must include the date of receipt of the ingredient, vendor’s name and address, name of the ingredient, etc. The vendor’s batch number, lot number of the product, and control number used to identify all components in the marijuana product(s), as well as the grade and quantity, must be mentioned in inventory reports.
Mississippi has not appointed an official cannabis monitoring system yet, and may initially have its own tracking and reporting system.
Yes. Cova has extensive experience in providing compliant dispensary POS systems to cannabis dispensaries all over the US and its Cannabis Dispensary POS Software and inventory management system always stay ahead of compliance with all the features needed to keep marijuana treatment centers compliant, including:
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