Mississippi may get a medical marijuana bill passed in 2021 after all!
We’ve been saying for months now that it was almost time to get that Mississippi Marijuana Card, and now we’re finally seeing some concrete actions coming from Jackson.
Since almost immediately after the Supreme Court overturned the medical marijuana law that had been overwhelmingly supported by Mississippi voters, Governor Tate Reeves has been calling on legislators to craft a rough framework for a new law. Reeves said that once that was complete, he’d call a special session of the State Legislature so that Mississippians could finally have access to the same safe, natural relief that residents of 36 other states now enjoy.
And over the span of those months, legislators from both chambers said that talks were continuing, and those lawmakers assured us that a special session was imminent. And yet as those months went by, there were few tangible signs of progress in Jackson.
And while nothing in life is guaranteed until it actually happens, we can now at least see tangible evidence that lawmakers have indeed made progress on this issue.
Legislators Say They’ll be Ready October 1, 2021
State lawmakers tell WAPT, Jackson’s ABC affiliate, that they’ll be ready for a special session by this Friday. They’ve completed a 100-page bill that they say will win the needed approval from both chambers to pass. Lawmakers also believe they will only need a one-day special session to pass the bill into law, as the debating is more or less over.
It remains to be seen if Governor Reeves will call the session for that day, but he is aware that legislators say they’re ready to go. “Staff from the Governor’s office and legislature met together to discuss it today, and we are looking forward to engaging further," Tate Reeves' office told WAPT in a statement.
Proposed Legislation Differs from Initiative 65
WAPT reports that the proposed bill differs in at least two ways from Initiative 65, the medical marijuana ballot issue passed by Mississippi voters in November of 2020.
First, unlike under Initiative 65, marijuana products would be subjected to state sales tax. Second, unlike Initiative 65, which would have permanently amended the state constitution and therefore taken priority over local laws, the bill currently being discussed would allow cities and counties to opt out of allowing medical marijuana.
"If the city elected officials choose to opt-out, the people who live in that city can call for referendum and have a popular vote and that will be the ultimate decider," State Senator David Blount told WAPT.
The bill also expands on the qualifying conditions recognized in Initiative 65, adding hepatitis, Alzheimer's disease, and spastic quadriplegia to the conditions that would qualify patients to get a Mississippi Marijuana Card.
Some Unsatisfied with Proposed Medical Marijuana Bill
In a written statement, Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson called the proposed bill "huge taxation."
“Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. It looks like a Democrat drafted bill," Gipson said.
Others see the legislation as having bipartisan support, and believe Mississippians will embrace it. "Both the Speaker of the House, lieutenant governor, the committee chairman are all Republicans. And frankly look, the people want this. Democrats voted for this. Republicans voted for this," Blount said.
You Don’t Have to Wait to Begin Your Medical Marijuana Journey
While you’ll have to wait for our politicians to finally get their acts together before we can purchase medical marijuana in Mississippi, you can get prepared for that time right now
Reserve an evaluation today with one of our caring, knowledgeable doctors, and we’ll book an appointment for you just as soon as the state’s marijuana market is up and running.
You’ll meet with your doctor virtually, using a computer or smartphone for a telemedicine appointment. From the convenience of your own home, you’ll discuss your condition and how medical marijuana might benefit you. You’ll even save $25 off the cost of the evaluation!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-6635, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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