The Mississippi Legislature approved the Mississippi Medicinal Cannabis Act (SB 2095) on January 26th, 2022, restoring voters’ will by establishing a medical cannabis program. On February 2th, 2022, Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signed the measure into law, making the state the 37th in the US to do so.
As it pertains to Mississippi medical cannabis businesses,
According to state health authorities, medical cannabis will be available at Mississippi dispensaries by January 2023, even though only around 400 people have been licensed to use it. Currently, there are a total of 138 dispensaries, 47 growers, 8 processors, 4 transportation businesses, 3 disposal companies, 2 testing labs, and 491 work permits issued by the state’s Department of Revenue and Department of Health.
During its first year of sales, New Frontier Data estimates that Mississippi’s medical-use market will be worth more than $6 million. In its second year, the market will reach $21 million, almost double to $41 million in its third year, and almost triple to nearly $66 million in its fourth year.
Are you looking to open a cannabis business in Mississippi? You must consider what is allowed in the town or municipality in which you intend on starting your marijuana business. Under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, localities can determine hours, implement zoning laws, regulate the operations of medical cannabis businesses, and opt out by voter referendum.
Local governments had until May 3 to make a decision on whether or not to allow medical cannabis businesses to operate inside their borders; ten counties and seventeen cities eventually declined to participate.
When the time comes for you to start a cannabis company in the state of Mississippi, the various regulations across the state may pose a challenge. The following section will be updated with any new information on local restrictions and challenges that come to light when the market opens up.
In November 2020, a medical marijuana proposal (Initiative 65) to legalize medical marijuana was passed by a majority of voters in the state of Mississippi. Six months later, the state’s Supreme Court nullified it, asserting that the state’s initiative procedure was outdated and unworkable.
As mentioned above, the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act (SB 2095), an act to authorize medical cannabis use by qualified patients, was signed into law by Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves on February 2th, 2022. Patients may now purchase up to 3.5 grams of cannabis up to six days a week.
Patients who have been diagnosed with specific medical conditions or whose treatment qualifies for enrollment in the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program may be eligible for medical cannabis. Qualifying conditions include Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, HIV, and AIDS. A complete list of conditions can be found here.
Under SB 2095, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MDOH) has primary regulatory responsibility for medical marijuana, which includes the authority to issue most cannabis business licenses. The Mississippi Department of Revenue (MDOR) is responsible for issuing licenses to medicinal cannabis dispensaries.
Any company that wants to get licensed by the MDOH for any part of the state’s Medical Marijuana Program should register with the Secretary of State’s Office first.
Not every regulation has been etched in stone just yet, but you can get an idea of what’s required to secure a business license in Mississippi to sell cannabis by reading the full legislative overview here.
Licensing will be granted to the following types of medicinal marijuana businesses:
There is no limit on the number of business licenses that may be issued. Individuals or businesses may not possess more than a ten percent ownership stake in more than 1 processing license, 1 cultivation license, and up to 4 dispensaries.
The MDOR and the MDOH will receive applications for licenses and grant licenses in accordance with their respective responsibilities, subject to the following:
To open a cannabis dispensary in Mississippi, the applicant must submit:
Before applying for a cannabis dispensary license, you should:
For non-medical use, cannabis is prohibited in the state of Mississippi. Mississippi’s Retail Marijuana Act was the most recent push toward legalizing and regulating marijuana usage for recreational purposes (HB 746). It would have allowed personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, cultivation of up to six marijuana plants, gifting of limited marijuana, and establishing a licensing procedure that included a social equality component. On January 17, 2022, it was referred to the drug policy committee, but it died in committee on February 1, 2022.
In the upcoming weeks and through 2022, we anticipate many new events going on in Mississippi that could change when and how recreational marijuana is legalized. We will keep you up to date on how to open a dispensary in Mississippi and all the important news, including the news that isn’t so easy to find. You can sign up for our Mississippi Cannabis Mailing List by filling out the form below.
This includes, but is not limited to
To get access, just fill out the information below.