Is weed legal in Mississippi?
Yes, medical marijuana is legal in the Magnolia State after a bit of legal and legislative back and forth.
Cannabis is decriminalized statewide. Possession of up to 30 grams (1 ounce) of cannabis or ten grams of synthetic cannabinoids is punishable by a fine of $100 to $250 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses and possession of larger amounts carry greater penalties.
In 2014 Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB 1231, or “Harper Grace’s Law,” named after Harper Grace Durval, a young girl with a severe form of epilepsy. The law provides an affirmative defense to patients who suffer from a debilitating epileptic condition and their parents or guardians for the possession and use of CBD oil or resin that contains at least 15% CBD, or if in liquid form at least 50 milligrams of CBD per milliliter, and no more than 0.5% THC.
Mississippians approved Initiative 65 in the November 2020 election, which legalized the use of cannabis as a medical treatment for 22 qualifying conditions. It set up a process for physicians to recommend medical marijuana for patients with debilitating conditions and allow those patients or their caregivers to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis medicine.
The measure also required the Department of Health to set up the system and begin issuing patient ID cards and dispensaries licenses by August 2021. The state legislature had put forth an alternative proposal, Initiative 65A, leaving all the details up to an unnamed state agency while requiring it to seek the input of health-care practitioners in the program design. Voters chose the more direct path to medical marijuana legalization.
But it didn’t go as legalization advocates planned. The mayor of Madison, a town of 25,000 near the state capital, had asked the state’s Supreme Court to invalidate the petition for Initiative 65 right before the election. Despite the fact that more than 70% of voters sided with legalization, in May 2021, the court sided with the opponents. The court found the petition invalid because the state’s constitution requires an equal percentage of signatures from five congressional districts, but there are only four districts following redistricting in 2000. A dissenting justice lamented the ruling as the end of the state’s citizen initiative process.
In February 2022 the legislature passed SB 2095, legalizing medical marijuana for patients in Mississippi. Gov. Tate Reeves then signed the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, which made it legal for qualified patients to purchase up to 3.5 grams of flower, 1 gram of concentrate, or 100 milligrams of THC in an infused product a day. It also designated the Mississippi Department of Health (MDOH) to oversee the licensing of facilities for testing, research, cultivation, and production; issuing ID cards for patients, nonresidents, and caregivers; registering healthcare practitioners, and managing the seed-to-sale tracking system. The state’s department of revenue (MDOR) will license dispensaries.
Where is it safe to purchase?
It will be safe to purchase cannabis at dispensaries once MDOR has begun issuing licenses.
Patients can purchase the daily limit (3.5 grams of flower, 1 gram of concentrate, or 100 milligrams of THC in an infused product) for six days in one week or 24 days in a 30-day period.
Where is it safe to consume?
Smoking, dabbing, or vaping in public or in a vehicle is prohibited.
Patients can possess up to 98 grams of flower, 28 grams of concentrate, or 2.8 grams of THC in an infused product. There’s no limit on topical medical marijuana products. The maximum percentage of THC allowed in flower is 30 and 60 in tinctures, oils, and concentrates.
Mississippi Medical Marijuana Program
MDOH oversees the state’s Medical Marijuana Program and will establish the application process for patients, nonresidents, and caregivers.
- Agitation of dementia
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Cachexia, or wasting disease
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms
- Severe or intractable nausea
- Spastic quadraplegia
- Spinal cord disease or severe injury
- Pain that’s not responsive to opioids
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle cell disease
- Ulcerative colitis
The public can petition the MDOH to add conditions to the list.
A patient with a diagnosis of a debilitating condition and a medical marijuana card from their home state can apply for a nonresident ID card up to 30 days before they arrive in Mississippi. The cards are valid for 15 days and can be renewed, though only for a total of two 15-day periods every 365 days. Nonresidents can purchase the daily limit (3.5 grams of flower, 1 gram of concentrate, or 100 milligrams of THC in an infused product) for six days in one week or 12 days in a 15-day period. They can possess a maximum of 49 grams.
MDOH will set up rules for testing cannabis. Most states test for mold, pesticides, residual solvents, and other harmful substances.