The Mississippi Legislature’s approval of a medical cannabis bill means it now goes to Governor Tate Reeves. Whether he’ll sign off on it is another matter.
Before he was elected as Governor, Reeves expressed that he was against legalizing medical cannabis access, but indicated he wouldn’t officially oppose it if approved by Mississippi voters.
In 2020, a ballot initiative to legalise medical cannabis saw 69.2% of voters supporting it. But in May last year, a Supreme Court decision ruled the ballot initiative invalid due to a technicality; which angered many.
It was then back to square one to develop new legislation, a process that saw its fair share of dramas. With that all sorted, all that really stood in the way was Governor Reeves, who dug his heels in on the issue of the quantity patients can buy. Governor Reeves wanted that halved.
The latest version maintains a daily purchasing limit of 6 MMCEUs of allowable medical cannabis in a week from a dispensary or a combination of dispensaries. An “MMCEU” is a Mississippi Medical Cannabis Equivalency Unit; which is:
- 3.5 grams of flower, or
- one gram of concentrate, or
- or 100 milligrams of THC in an infused product
Registered patients will be limited to a maximum of twenty-four (24) MMCEUs of allowable medical cannabis over 30 days. That makes for 84 grams of flower, a whisker under 3 ounces. Originally the 30-day limit was to be 5 ounces.
At the time of publishing, Governor Reeves had not indicated clearly if he intends to sign off on the Bill or make good on his threat of veto – or to just let pass without his blessing.
While all this has been going on, it’s not only patients in Mississippi who have suffered, but also the state’s coffers. The Bill imposes a 7% sales tax and 5% excise tax on medical cannabis sales in the state. Taxes of this nature of have proven to be a cash-cow in other states that have implemented them.
Reeves has five days from the day the bill hits his desk, not including a Sunday, to make his move – or not. That happened on the 27th, so he has until the 2nd of February.
Full text of the bill: Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act; create.