Yesterday, Mississippi voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for Mississippians with certain medical conditions. As we wrote back in February, the amendment will allow treatment centers to provide medical marijuana to patients with “debilitating medical conditions.” Now that voters have approved the constitutional amendment, the Mississippi State Department of Health will begin promulgating regulations to allow for the prescription, distribution, and consumption of medical marijuana. The amendment requires the Department of Health to develop regulations by July 1, 2021, and to begin issuing medical marijuana identification cards and treatment center licenses no later than August 15, 2021. Of particular note to industry observers and potential participants, there is no cap at this point on the number of licenses for treatment centers.
The amendment permits Mississippi physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to qualified patients following an in-person examination. The physician must provide a physician certification form, which remains valid for 12 months, unless the physician prescribes a shorter period. The patient must then present this certification to the Department of Health, which will issue a medical marijuana identification card. Like the physician certification form, these identification cards also expire within 12 months of issuance. Once the patient obtains the identification card, he or she can receive medical marijuana from a treatment center. A patient can obtain no more than 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana during any one 14-day period. The weight limitation does not include ingredients combined with the medical marijuana to prepare edible products, topical products, ointments, oils, tinctures, or other products.
There is much to be seen about the specifics of the forthcoming regulations, as well as how state and local governments respond to this development. Bradley is a full-service law firm with attorneys experienced in advising cannabis businesses across the country, as well as advising businesses in their interactions with cannabis businesses. We will monitor the evolution of the Mississippi medical cannabis regulations as they are developed and will detail those developments in future articles. In the meantime, please contact us if you have any questions or would like additional information regarding this recent development.