- D.H. Reilly
When Will it be Legal to Buy Medical Marijuana in Mississippi?
If you live in Mississippi and have one of the qualifying conditions that had been recognized in the state’s overturned medical marijuana law, you’re probably wondering how soon you’ll be able to get a Mississippi Marijuana Card.
And while we’d love to tell you, there is still no way to be sure when that day will arrive. Still, we can read the political tea leaves and look to the medical marijuana markets being established in other states, and we can say this: We don’t know when medical marijuana is coming to Mississippi, but we know it’s coming, and that no matter how long the wait is, it’ll appear miniscule next to how long we’ve had to endure prohibition.
August 15, 2021: The Date We Should Have Been Able to Buy Medical Marijuana
If it hadn't been for the Mississippi Supreme Court overturning Initiative 65, the medical marijuana law that was overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2020, we’d be able to start shopping at dispensaries any day now.
Initiative 65 established August 15, 2021, as the deadline by which the state had to be ready to begin issuing dispensary licenses and patient cards.
And at the time things were looking so good for medical marijuana in the Magnolia State that back in May I told you, “The status of Initiative 65 remains up in the air until the Mississippi Supreme Court issues its ruling... While it obviously isn’t over until it’s over, my guess is it’s only a matter of time before a medical market is established under Initiative 65.”
And while I still believe it’s only a matter of time before we have a medical marijuana market in Mississippi, it’s hard to know when it’ll arrive when we don’t even know when the legislation to create it will be written, let alone passed.
Politicians are Hard at Work Talking
Almost immediately after the Supreme Court decision, Governor Tate Reeves voiced support for passing a new medical marijuana law out of the State Legislature. He said he’d convene a special session to do it, but only after legislators had come up with a rough agreement already, so as to avoid the high cost of a prolonged special session.
And in the months since, state legislators have held meetings and begun hashing out their differing views of what our medical marijuana market should look like. Senator Kevin Blackwell, of South Haven, told reporters last month that “I hope to have a special session by mid-August. But, you know, I don’t call that.” Representative Lee Yancey, of Brandon, agreed that was a realistic goal, saying at the time “I don’t see why not, as long as we come to an agreement soon.”
So just at the time that we were supposed to be getting medical marijuana, we may be getting our state legislators back to work creating a law that will eventually bring us medical marijuana.
Even with a Law in Place, Medical Marijuana Takes Time
Unfortunately, even once a law is in place, it will be some time before medical marijuana comes to Mississippi.
State medical marijuana markets have to oversee the licensing of dispensaries, the rules under which those dispensaries must operate, the licensing of patients, the rules under which those patients must operate, and a host of related issues.
And all of that takes time.
Exactly how much time depends on the specific law, and how much work it leaves undone.
Let’s compare Initiative 65 to another law from a recent entry to the medical marijuana game, Alabama’s SB 46, to see what clues we can gather as to how long this is going to take.
Alabama’s Example Says We Have a Wait Ahead of Us
Alabama’s SB 46 was signed into law in May, and it was a much more comprehensive law than the bare-bones one that Initiative 65 would have been. Just compare the text of Initiative 65 to the text of SB 46, and you can see the Alabama legislature had already done much of the work of establishing what their medical marijuana market would look like, whereas our voter initiative was more of a quick sketch of our envisioned market.
But even with many of the details already squared away, Alabama’s law allowed the state until September 1, 2022, to have its market up and running. That’s about 15 months from the time the law was enacted. More than a year to get medical marijuana in place, even with a law that spelled out many of the details of what the market will look like.
And Mississippi? We don’t even have a law yet, nor do we know how detailed it will be when we get it, so it will likely be at least late 2022 before our market is open for business.
Medical Marijuana is Coming to Mississippi (Eventually. Honest.)
Whenever our medical marijuana law comes, it is likely to resemble Initiative 65. Both Blackwell and Yancey have said they’d like to see the voter initiative be the model for the law they create, but both believe the other legislative chamber is wandering from the spirit of the initiative.
Which means not only that we can’t predict when the legislation will be written, or when it will pass once it is written, but that we have no way of knowing how much of the market it will create and how much it will leave to existing and new agencies to do.
Regardless, considering how long it takes a state with a medical marijuana law that is fairly specific and that hasn’t been overturned to create a market, we’d say it’ll be at least a year from the passage of Mississippi’s law before those dispensary doors start opening.
That’s the Bad News: Now Here’s the Good
Sure, medical marijuana is a long way away yet. But there is good news: We do know it’s almost certainly coming, and you can start getting ready for it now!
Reserve an evaluation today, and we’ll book an appointment for you with one of our highly-trained marijuana doctors just as soon as Mississippi’s medical marijuana market is up and running! Not only that, but you won’t even have to leave your home! You’ll meet with your new doctor virtually using your smartphone or computer for a telemedicine appointment.
And not only that, but you’ll also receive $25 off the cost of your appointment and a full refund if you and your doctor decide medical marijuana isn’t for you.
You have nothing to lose, amazing relief to gain, and only a little longer to wait!