After years of debate and delays, Mississippi has finally approved a medical marijuana program. Patients with debilitating medical conditions will soon be able to access cannabis as an integral part of their medical treatment. For many individuals, this is a welcome change. But for many county and city officials in Mississippi, zoning concerns and regulatory uncertaintiesled them to opt out of allowing medical marijuana facilities to operate within their jurisdictions. These leaders can opt back in at any time, or residents can petition for an election to opt back in.
According to the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, governing city and county officials were given the authority to “opt out of one or more of the following: the cultivation, processing, sale or distribution of medical cannabis and cannabis products” and were given a 90-day window after the passage of the bill to do so. A few cities and counties have chosen to prohibit dispensaries but allow cultivation and manufacturing facilities and/or testing laboratories to operate.
Two Mississippi cities, Winona and North Carrolton, have elected to allow dispensaries but not cultivation and/or processing facilities. County and city leaders who opted out do not have any say in where facilities can operate or how they are operated if they are to open up shop in a neighboring jurisdiction that has chosen to participate. Opting out does not prohibit patients who qualify for the medical cannabis program and are also residents in those areas from participating in the program and possessing medical marijuana there.
After the 90 days were up on May 3, 2022, opting out was no longer allowed. The remaining areas of Mississippi are automatically included in the medical marijuana program. However, governing officials in “opted-out”areas can opt back into the program. Officials in Iuka and Philadelphia did take some extra time to consider and decided to opt back in. Thankfully, officials in Byram choose to allow the operation of medical marijuana facilities in the city. River Remedy is proud to be an engine of economic growth in the city, generating tax revenue and creating dozens of jobs in the city.
Mississippi patients who qualify for the Medical Cannabis Program will be allowed to possess up to 28 “MMCEUs” of cannabis products – this equates to approximately 3.5 ounces of marijuana flower or 2.8 grams of concentrates.
If you live in a city or county where medical marijuana facilities are not allowed, there are several things you can do to help change that. First, you can reach out to your county leaders and let them know that you support medical marijuana and would like them to opt in to the program.
You can also start and/or sign petitions in your area and join advocacy groups like Mississippians for Compassionate Care which is working to increase access to medical marijuana across the state. To ensure that all Mississippians have equal access to medical marijuana, we must continue to advocate for change at the local level.
River Remedy has found its home in Byram. Our management team has roots deep in Mississippi culture and history, and we don’t take for granted the honor of serving Byram and the surrounding communities with this life-changing medicine. Again, we thank the leaders in Byram for choosing compassion for residents with debilitating medical conditions and choosing economic growth for your community. We’ll be seeing you soon at River Remedy!