In under a week since launch, Mississippi’s medical cannabis license portal has seen more than 1,800 people register for accounts. But it will still be a while until patients can apply for a card, and even longer to access medicines.
Mississippi’s Medical Cannabis Act became law in February this year after Governor Tate Reeves somewhat grudgingly gave it the thumbs up. This has been a hard-fought battle spanning over years.
Since the beginning of the month, applications for patients and caregivers to access medical cannabis are being accepted; the first step being setting up an account through the portal. Also being accepted are applications for medical practitioners, cannabis cultivation, processing and testing facilities, and transportation and waste disposal services.
Among parties to have completed applications are fifteen businesses and nine medical practitioners according to a press conference held by the state Department of Health on Monday. There have also been a dozen or so applications for cannabis related work permits.
As for dispensaries, applications not being accepted through the Department of Health portal, but through the Mississippi Department of Revenue from July 1.
In relation to actually getting a card, patients will first need to consult with a certified doctor or practitioner – and applications from practitioners are currently being reviewed. It’s expected the review period will be around 30 days from time of submission. Given the proportion of those seeking cannabis treatment against the number of practitioners to have submitted an application to recommend it, there could be some very busy doctors in the time ahead.
With regard to product availability, it looks like there won’t be anything until the end of this year. The Act requires marijuana cultivation occur indoors in secure facilities, and these facilities must be located in Mississippi if they will be providing products for Mississippi patients with identification cards.
While the wait is regrettable for patients desperate for relief, things are looking a lot better now in Mississippi than just a few months ago when it still wasn’t even clear whether the state would have a program anytime soon. However, there is still much to do.
Further information on the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program can be found here.