Answers to frequently asked questions about the draft medical marijuana bill | State government


Legislative leaders have agreed on a medical marijuana bill that includes opt-out provisions for local governments, and levying sales and excise taxes on marijuana products

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has sole power to convene lawmakers back to session before their regular session begins in January 2022, a special session, as he should call it.

A medical marijuana program would have serious implications for the state’s agriculture and public health, so the Daily Journal answered some frequently asked questions about the 144-page draft medical cannabis program in Mississippi.

Who can certify a patient for medical marijuana treatment?

Licensed doctors, medical assistants, nurses, and opticians can legally certify someone for medical marijuana treatment.

How can a doctor certify someone in medical marijuana?

First, a qualified health professional must complete eight hours of continuing education course to legally certify or refer someone for a marijuana treatment. According to this, the specialist has to attend five hours of advanced training courses every year.

A patient must also be personally examined by a doctor who will examine the patient’s medical history and mental health. In order to be legally certified, a practitioner must do the certification in writing.

Upon receipt of the practitioner’s written certificate, the patient must have a follow-up appointment with the practitioner at least six months after the date of issue for the practitioner to assess the effectiveness of the marijuana treatment.

Do doctors, nurses, or opticians need to certify someone for marijuana?

No, the bill says no doctor is required to certify a patient for medical marijuana – even if a patient qualifies for treatment for one of the debilitating conditions.

What Kinds of Debilitating Conditions Can Qualify for Medical Marijuana Certification?

The bill outlines over 20 different debilitating diseases that could qualify a patient for medical marijuana treatment: cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive status, acquired immune system Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, sickle cell anemia, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia agitation, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, pain that does not respond to appropriate opioid management, diabetic / peripheral neuropathy, spinal cord disease or severe injury, cachexia or wasting syndrome, chronic pain, severe or persistent nausea, seizures, or severe and persistent muscle cramps.

Can a debilitating condition be added to the list?

Yes, but only the Mississippi State Department of Health can add a condition. Anyone can petition the ministry to list a debilitating medical condition, and ministry officials will hold a public hearing on the petition.

How does a patient get a medical marijuana card?

After a patient receives legal certification for marijuana treatment from a doctor, he or she must apply to the Mississippi State Department of Health for a registration card.

After verifying the information and determining that it is correct and meets legal requirements, the department issues a registration card to the patient to legally obtain medical marijuana from a pharmacy.

How much marijuana can a patient receive at one time?

Mississippi calculates medical marijuana limits as MMCEUs, which are units of equivalence for Mississippi medical cannabis. One unit consists of three and a half grams of cannabis flower, one gram of cannabis concentrate, or 100 milligrams of a THC fortified product.

The current draft states that a patient cannot have more than one resident card holder who cannot purchase more than eight units in one day and 32 units in 30 days. The total limit that one person can have on hand at the same time is 40 units.

There are no ownership restrictions on non-consumable types of cannabis, which include suppositories, soaps, ointments, and lotions.

Can a county, town, or city choose to have medical marijuana dispensaries and grow facilities within their borders?

Yes, counties and municipalities have 90 days from the enactment of the law to ban the processing, sale, and cultivation of medical marijuana within their borders.

If a district votes in favor of deregistering, this only applies to municipalities with no legal capacity. For example, if Lee County’s board of directors voted to ban pharmacies from operating, it would not necessarily prevent them from operating within the city of Tupelo or the city of Saltillo. But it would prevent pharmacies from operating in the Lee County’s Skyline community.

If a public body rejects medical marijuana, it can re-register at any time by voting.

If a county or municipality votes to opt out, can citizens do something about it?

Yes, if a county or municipality chooses to opt out, citizens can petition the relevant public body to protest the decision. If the signatures of 1,500 citizens or 20% of the citizens of the corresponding area – whichever is lower – are submitted to the competent authority, a special election can be carried out for the entire municipality or the entire county to vote and vote.

If the citizens vote in favor of the approval, processing and cultivation of marijuana, the decision of the board of directors will be reversed. If citizens vote with their corporation and ban the distribution and cultivation of marijuana, citizens will have to wait at least two years before another election can be held.

Can state or local law enforcement agencies charge someone with possession or use of medical marijuana?

No, they shouldn’t. The bill explicitly prohibits law enforcement agencies from spending state or local resources (that is, any local law enforcement agency, law enforcement agency, and state law enforcement agency) to confiscate a patient’s medical marijuana products, solely on the basis that marijuana is still federally illegal.

Law enforcement agencies still have the power to charge someone with possession and recreational use of marijuana, driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, and possessing more medical marijuana than is permitted by law.

How much are marijuana products taxed?

All floral and ornamental products are subject to an excise duty of $ 15 per ounce. Marijuana products sold in pharmacies are subject to a 7% statewide sales tax.

Are patients allowed to smoke medical marijuana in a public setting?

No, the law prohibits patients from smoking medical marijuana products in a public setting.

What are the requirements for obtaining a license to operate any type of medical marijuana facility?

The individual wishing to operate a medical marijuana facility must be at least 21 years of age, have not been convicted of a disqualifying felony, have in default state taxes, have not revoked a prior marijuana license, and not be a member of the legislature.

How long will it be before a patient can legally purchase medical marijuana?

There is no clear answer to this question. The law currently provides for the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and the Mississippi Department of Health to begin issuing licenses for the facilities they will oversee 60 days after the law is passed. The Mississippi Treasury Department must begin licensing pharmacies within 90 days of the bill being passed.

But even if a company has a license to grow or sell marijuana, that doesn’t necessarily mean the company has marijuana products available for sale right away.

Who implements and oversees the medical marijuana program?

The program is 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 health department will oversee the testing and research facilities. The tax office will supervise the pharmacies.

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 at the consultation and signs a written consent form. Children must go through the same procedure as adults with a certificate from a doctor and the health department.

Can non-resident Mississippi residents purchase medical marijuana products?

Yes, residents outside of the state can purchase some medical marijuana products as long as they have statutory certification and a state registration card.

What are the zoning or distance restrictions for medical marijuana facilities?

Marijuana medical facilities must not be within 300 meters of a church, childcare facility, or school. However, an organization may apply to the church, daycare center, or school for an exemption to operate within the restricted distance.

How much does it cost to apply for a medical marijuana license?

There is a tiered system for growing and processing medical marijuana. Each institution has its own registration and registration fee.

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