The medical marijuana bill has been signed by Gov. Reeves. What’s next?

Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 8:35 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Governor Tate Reeves has signed the medical marijuana bill into law.

“We’re just excited to see all the movement. I know that I’ve talked to a lot of people who have or are ready to come in or ready to start, you know, providing medicine to, to, you know, all the Mississippians who need it,” said Shea Dobson, Executive Director Citizens Alliance of Mississippi.

So, what’s next? Building a business framework from the ground up.

The Department of Health will be charged with issuing licenses and registration starting within 120-150 days to the following cannabis related businesses involving cultivation, processing, testing, research, disposal and transportation. Within 150-180 days of passage, the Department of Revenue will be able to issue licenses to dispensaries.

“So really short timeline. In that time period, businesses who want to participate in this industry need to do things like form a corporate entity, locate real estate, raise money, work on their intellectual property and the brands they want to sell products under, staff up,” noted McLaughlin PC attorney Conner Reeves. “There’s a lot of moving pieces that we’re gonna have to do. And many of those companies have been doing this already for the past couple of years in anticipation of this passing.”

Something to note - within that timeframe, cities and counties can decide to opt out from allowing medical marijuana businesses. Citizens could get it back in place later with a referendum vote.

“We recommend everybody who comes to us and says What should I do? We recommend they should go talk to their local, local government, because that’s the first step in getting approved. There’s still plenty of zoning allowances that the local localities will have to do,” said Ken Newburger, Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association Executive Director.

And those who have one of the qualifying conditions should expect it to be several months before product is available in dispensaries.

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