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Mississippi Lawmakers Propose Expanded Medical Cannabis Rules |

After much debate, the Mississippi legislature finally passed legislation to allow Mississippians to legalize medical cannabis.

According to The, Republican Senator Kevin Blackwell submitted a 445-page bill Tuesday. Clarion Ledger Newspaper, and the legislation quickly referred to Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. Lieutenant was then able to review it. Governor Delbert Hosemann.

It Clarion Ledger It was reported that Senator Hob Bryan (Democratic State) is the chairman for the committee. He said that he will bring up the bill to the panel for discussion on Wednesday. 

So Blackwell’s bill must effectively clear four more hurdles in order to become law: gain approval from the public health committee; pass out of the state Senate; pass out of the state House; and be signed by Republican Gov. Tate Reeves.

Also, just relax. 

The mere act of filing the bill, after years of delay and disagreement surrounding it is still a major breakthrough.

Almost 70 percent of Mississippi voters approved a ballot initiative in 2020 to legalize medical cannabis in the state for patients with qualifying conditions that include cancer, epilepsy or other seizures, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis, among others.

However, despite the overwhelming public acceptance of this proposal, it has met resistance since. The initiative was rejected by the Mississippi Supreme Court in May last year. 

After that court decision, the state legislatures engaged in negotiations for months with Reeves in order to create a medical marijuana bill that would replace the one rejected by the court.

Blackwell stated in August that he was confident lawmakers would pass a legalization bill for medical cannabis.

“Well, I kind of get tired of saying this, but we’re getting very close,” Blackwell told Mississippi Today.” And I’m sure the folks who are out there who are wanting to use these products for medical needs and certainly for the kids with some of their seizure disorders (that are) frustrating for them. But we are working every day on this trying to advance to get to the point where we can present something to the governor.”

The September draft was produced by legislators, but Reeves did not call a special session in order to review the bill. He cited concerns about the proposal.

“I am confident we will have a special session of the Legislature if we get the specifics of a couple of items that are left outstanding,” Reeves said at a press conference in October. “Again, we have made great progress working with our legislative leaders.”

In November, Reeves cited one part of the proposal that “forbid the Department of Public Safety from having a role in the state’s potential medical marijuana industry” as a major area of disagreement. 

“Clearly, I wasn’t going to agree to that, so we’ve made some necessary improvements to the bill, but we haven’t gotten to the point where I am comfortable yet in ensuring that we have a program that is truly ‘medical mariuana’ that has strict rules in place,” Reeves said, as quoted by Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Governor also expressed concern about how much pot one patient could purchase in one go. The Mississippi legislature has officially met last week and lawmakers are now preparing to vote on the bill during a regular session.
It Clarion Ledger reported that the new bill filed this week “allows for medical marijuana card holders to purchase 3.5 grams of the substance a day,” even though Reeves has said that he “would like to see that number lowered to 2.7 grams in most circumstances.”