Bradley partner Slates Veazey was quoted in the Mississippi Business Journal on pushback on Mississippi’s medical marijuana legislation. The state-level scrutiny will come from Mississippi’s Department of Health and Department of Revenue.
Veazey said the Department of Health will issue licenses for and regulate all license types except dispensaries, which fall under the Department of Revenue.
But no one is expecting the regulatory hoops to discourage potential participants from entering the budding market, Veazey said.
“I don’t think people appreciate what is coming here in terms of just business activity,” he said, and emphasized participation by ancillary businesses will be substantial. “We’ve got professional service providers like lawyers, CPAs, real estate agents, health-care providers — it touches on so many aspects of the economy.”
As an indicator of activity to come, Veazey said, look at neighboring Arkansas, where over a half billion dollars in sales have been generated since the inception of medical marijuana in 2019, including a reported $265 million in 2021. Arkansas had around 79,000 state-authorized cannabis patients by the end of 2021, state health officials say.
Veazey said the number of registrations of cannabis businesses with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office reflects strong interest in cultivating, processing, retailing, transporting and providing security for the state’s newest cash crop. He is hearing from a number of soon-to-be large cultivators around Jackson who think a lot of homegrown companies will materialize.
Still, “I do believe there are some stabilized players in other markets who have partnered with Mississippians to get operations going,” Veazey explained.
He said local trade groups have been created.
“They are forming a completely new network in the Mississippi business community,” Veazey added. “This is touching on so many other industries.”
Veazey expects capital investment will come from across the spectrum, ranging from investment from local families that have the funds to enter the market all the way up to equity groups.
The complete article, "Watchers of Mississippi’s budding medical pot market expect robust participation,” was published by the Mississippi Business Journal on March 25, 2022. (login requited)