By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS, Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — It could be the end of the year before medical marijuana is available in Mississippi because businesses need time to receive licenses and to grow, test and prepare to sell the products, state Health Department officials said Monday.
The department opened the licensing application process last week for patients and caregivers interested in using medical cannabis as allowed under a new state law; for medical practitioners who will certify patients for medical cannabis use; for facilities that will grow, process and test the products; and for businesses that will transport medical cannabis and dispose of waste.
On July 1, the state Department of Revenue will start accepting applications for businesses that will dispense medical marijuana.
A wide majority of Mississippi voters approved a medical marijuana ballot initiative in November 2020, but the state Supreme Court invalidated the results of that election six months later by ruling the initiative was not properly on the ballot.
Earlier this year, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed a law to create a medical marijuana program similar to what voters approved. It allows use of the products by people with debilitating conditions including cancer, AIDS, sickle cell anemia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Kris Jones Adcock, director of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program, said Monday that about 1,800 people registered for accounts when the Health Department started accepting licensing applications Wednesday. She said most were patients.
She said 15 businesses have completed an application, 12 people have applied for work permits and nine medical practitioners have applied for licenses. She also said those numbers will increase.
Jim Craig, the Health Department’s senior deputy and director of health protection, said Monday that under regulations set by the department, medical marijuana businesses may have websites and logos to brand their businesses, but they may not do any other marketing or advertising.
“Absolutely nothing else is allowed,” Craig said.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.