Update on Medical Marijuana in Mississippi: PROPOSED RULES ON ADVERTISING, MARKETING, TRACKING & LABELING

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Earlier this week, the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) published a second set of proposed rules and regulations, which include Subpart 3 (Advertising and Marketing) and Subpart 4 (Tracking and Labeling). The MSDH published proposed Subpart 1 (Product Safety/Laboratory Requirements) on March 30, 2021. Click here for Bradley’s summary of those proposed sections.

Here are the highlights on proposed Subpart 3 (Advertising and Marketing):

  • All licensed entities participating in Mississippi’s medical marijuana program are prohibited from advertising or marketing through any media or mass communication.
  • Products cannot be displayed in store windows or in public view.
  • Licensed entities may establish their brands by creating a website, which may include general information necessary to serve qualified patients.
  • Branding cannot target minors or other certain individuals and cannot promote non-medicinal marijuana use.
  • Licensed entities are prohibited from using inducements, such as discounts, coupons, or any other similar promotion of sales.
  • Educating individuals on the risks and benefits of medical marijuana in one-on-one sessions is permissible.

Here are the highlights on proposed Subpart 4 (Tracking and Labeling):

  • All medical marijuana and products must be packaged and labeled in accordance with the regulation before distribution and sale.
  • Treatment centers and dispensaries must document and dispose of all nonconforming products under this regulation.
  • The regulation provides a list of requirements for packaging, including that the packaging must minimize visual appeal to minors, must give certain warnings, cannot use product names, packaging, or labeling similar to food or candy, and cannot claim to provide health benefits.
  • The regulation provides requirements on the construction of the container, including that the container must be opaque, resealable, and child resistant.
  • The regulation provides a list of requirements for labeling, including certain information for retail products, plain font, and information for principal display panels.
  • Labels and packaging for food containing marijuana products must also comply with existing requirements under state law.
  • Packages must contain the Mississippi Universal Symbol.
  • The regulation provides separate labeling requirements for cultivators before selling to manufacturers.
  • The regulation provides a list of warnings the that must be visible at the point of sale in retail settings.
  • All licensed entities must use a seed-to-sale tracking system to document in real time the chain of custody of all products.
  • The regulation requires that all plants, plant material, products, and plant waste be tagged with certain information regarding the licensed entity and the plant or product.
  • Growers, processors, and dispensaries must submit a monthly inventory report to the MSDH, which is to be done through the seed-to-sale tracking system.

The MSDH is offering the public two opportunities to provide comments about the proposed regulations. First, the public may submit comments regarding the proposed rules and regulations through an online form, which can be found here. Second, on May 11, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. CST, an oral proceeding will occur virtually, during which the MSDH will discuss the proposed rules and regulations. Meeting details can be found here. Bradley can assist individuals or businesses in formulating and submitting comments on their behalf.

More proposed rules and regulations will soon follow. Initiative 65 Section 5(2) includes a list of nine categories for which the MSDH is to promulgate rules and regulations, including issuance of identification cards and medical marijuana use in assisted living facilities and qualifications for treatment centers. See the full list here.

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