Legislative leaders agreed on a medical marijuana bill that includes opt-out provisions for local governments, levies sales and excise taxes on marijuana products, and
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has sole power to recall lawmakers to session before their regular session begins in January 2022. Reeves recently told members of the press that he and his team are reviewing the bill and were working with legislative leaders on agenda items for a special session, if he called it.
A medical marijuana program would have serious agricultural and public health implications for the state. So the Daily Journal answered some common questions about the 144-page Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program project.
Who can certify a patient for medical marijuana treatment?
Licensed physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and optometrists can legally certify someone for medical marijuana treatment.
How can a doctor certify someone for medical marijuana?
First, a qualified healthcare professional must complete an eight-hour continuing education course to legally certify or refer someone for marijuana treatment. Each year thereafter, the professional must complete five hours of education classes each year.
A patient must also physically go in person to be examined by a practitioner, who will review their medical history and mental health status. To legally certify, a practitioner must do the certification in writing.
After receiving the written certification from the practitioner, the patient should have a follow-up visit with the practitioner at least six months after the date of issue so that the practitioner can assess the effectiveness of the marijuana treatment.
Are doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners or optometrists required to certify someone for marijuana?
No, the bill says that no doctor will be required to certify a patient for medical marijuana – even if a patient would be eligible for treatment in one of the debilitating medical conditions.
What types of debilitating conditions may qualify for medical marijuana certification?
The bill describes over 20 different debilitating conditions that could qualify a patient for medical treatment with marijuana: cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia, positive status for the virus. human immunodeficiency (HIV), acquired immune system deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, sickle cell anemia, Alzheimer’s disease, agitation of dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, pain unresponsive to appropriate opioid management, diabetic / peripheral neuropathy, severe spinal cord disease or injury, cachexia or wasting syndrome, chronic pain, severe or intractable nausea, severe and persistent seizures or muscle spasms.
Can a debilitating condition be added to the list?
Yes, but only the Mississippi State Department of Health can add a condition. Anyone can ask the department to add a debilitating medical condition to its list, and department officials will hold a public hearing on the petition.
How does a patient receive a medical marijuana card?
Once a patient has received legal certification for marijuana treatment from a physician, he or she must apply for a registration card from the Mississippi State Department of Health.
Once the department has reviewed the information and determined that it is accurate and meets legal qualifications, it will issue a registration card that allows the patient to legally obtain medical marijuana from a medical practitioner. dispensary.
How much marijuana can a patient receive at one time?
Mississippi calculates medical marijuana limits as MMCEUs, which stands for Mississippi Medical Cannabis Equivalency Units. One unit is three and a half grams of cannabis flower, one gram of cannabis concentrate, or 100 milligrams of a THC-infused product.
The current draft states that a patient cannot have more than one resident card holder cannot buy more than eight units in one day and 32 units in 30 days. The total limit that one person can have on hand at a time is 40 units.
There are no possession limits for non-consumable types of cannabis, which would include suppositories, soaps, ointments and lotions.
Can a county, town or city choose not to allow dispensaries and medical marijuana growing facilities to operate within its borders?
Yes, counties and municipalities have 90 days from the passage of the bill to ban the processing, sale and cultivation of medical marijuana within their borders.
If a county votes to opt out, that would only apply to unincorporated communities. For example, if the Lee County Board of Supervisors voted to ban dispensaries from operating, that would not necessarily prevent them from operating in Tupelo City or Saltillo City. But that would prevent dispensaries from functioning in the Skyline community of Lee County.
If a public body withdraws from medical marijuana, it can always come back with a vote.
If a county or municipality votes to withdraw, can citizens do something about it?
Yes, if a county or municipality chooses to opt out, citizens can then file a petition with the appropriate public body to protest the decision. If the signatures of 1,500 citizens or 20% of the citizens of the appropriate region, whichever is less, are submitted to the competent authority, then a special election may be held to ensure that the entire municipality or county decides and votes.
If citizens vote to allow the distribution, processing and cultivation of marijuana, the board’s decision is overturned. If citizens vote with their public body and ban the distribution and cultivation of marijuana, then citizens must wait at least two more years before another election can take place.
Can national or local law enforcement charge anyone with possessing or using medical marijuana?
No, they’re not supposed to. The bill specifically prohibits law enforcement agencies from spending state or local resources (i.e. each local police department, sheriff’s department, and state law enforcement agency) to seize cases. medical marijuana products from a patient solely on the basis that marijuana is still federally illegal.
Law enforcement officers still have the power to charge someone with possession and use of recreational marijuana, driving a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana, and possession of marijuana. more medical marijuana than permitted by law.
How much will cannabis products be taxed?
All flower and garnish products will be subject to an excise tax of $ 15 per ounce. Marijuana products sold in dispensaries will be subject to the state’s 7% sales tax.
Can patients smoke medical marijuana in a public place?
No, the bill prohibits patients from smoking medical marijuana products in a public place.
What are the requirements for obtaining a license to operate any type of medical marijuana facility?
The person wishing to operate a medical marijuana establishment must be at least 21 years old and not be convicted of a disqualifying crime, not have outstanding state taxes, not have a license to revoked marijuana and not be a member of the legislature.
How long will it take before a patient can legally purchase medical marijuana?
There is no simple answer to this question. The bill currently requires the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and the Mississippi Department of Health to begin licensing the facilities they will oversee 60 days after the bill is passed. The Mississippi Department of Revenue is required to begin licensing dispensaries within 90 days of the bill being passed.
But even if a business has a license to grow or sell marijuana, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the entity will have marijuana products immediately available for sale.
Who implements and oversees the medical marijuana program?
The program will be implemented and overseen by three state agencies: the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, the Mississippi Department of Revenue, and the Mississippi State Department of Health.
The Department of Agriculture will oversee the disposal, processing, transportation and processing facilities. The Department of Health will oversee the testing and research facilities. The revenue department will oversee the dispensaries.
Will medical marijuana be available for children?
Yes, doctors can certify children under the age of 18 for marijuana products as long as their legal guardian is present for the consultation and signs a written consent form. Children should follow the same procedure as adults with certification from a doctor and the Department of Health.
Can Out-of-State Residents Purchase Medical Marijuana Products in Mississippi?
Yes, out-of-state residents can purchase medical marijuana products as long as they have legal certification and a registration card from their respective state.
What are the zoning or distance restrictions for medical marijuana facilities?
Medical marijuana facilities cannot be located within 1000 feet of a church, daycare or school. But an establishment can request an exemption from the church, daycare or school to operate within the restricted distance.
How much does it cost to apply for a medical marijuana license?
There is a tiered system for medical marijuana growing and processing facilities. Each size installation comes with its own application and registration fee.