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Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association hosts medical marijuana convention

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It will still be months before patients have access to medical marijuana in Mississippi, but businesses are getting the groundwork laid now that the first set of regulations are in place.

A sold out conference full of folks who are wanting to be involved in the Magnolia State’s new medical marijuana industry. Some who previously left the state to seek it out.

“To see this gathering of people here who are going to make it happen, it’s very exciting,” said Jonathan Brown, director of Local Opt In and potential patient. “And personally, I can’t wait to cross the threshold into my first medical marijuana dispensary here in Mississippi and safely acquire the medicine that God has used to save my life. So I’m pretty excited about it.”

There was a significant milestone this week. The deadline for cities and counties to opt out was May 3.

“We want access, ease of access for our patients, because we don’t want anyone to have to drive further than they should have to get their medications,” noted Angie Calhoun, Mississippi Cannabis Patients Alliance Founder/CEO. “And since our patients have to buy weekly, it’s very very important that they have ease of access.”

What we learned is that there’s still not a clear picture of what that access may look like.

The Mississippi Department of Health has added a place on the agency website where local officials can report an opt out but note that it’s not required. Here is a preliminary list of those we’ve been able to confirm.

But organizations are currently working on a comprehensive list.

CITIES OPTING OUT

1. Pass Christian

2. Gluckstadt

3. Flora

4. Ridgeland

5. Brandon

6. Flowood

7. Carrollton

8. Madison

9. Ecru

10. Pontotoc

11. Winona (in for dispensaries, out for processing and cultivation)

12. Horn Lake

13. Noxapater

14. Clinton

15. Caledonia

16. Vaiden

17. Kilmichael

18. Ashland

19. New Albany

20. Lucedale

21. Tishomingo

22. Amory

23. Southaven

24. Picayune

25. Greenwood

26. Belmont

27. D’Iberville

28. Sumrall

COUNTIES OPTING OUT

1. Newton

2. Tippah

3. Lincoln

4. Pontotoc

5. Neshoba

6. Calhoun

7. George

8. Leflore

9. Carroll

10. Montgomery

11. Lauderdale

12. Pearl River

13. Jones (opted out of processing and dispensaries but will allow cultivation)

14. Webster

15. Madison

16. Choctaw

“Certainly, some of the cluster around here in the Jackson area, is something to worry about,” added Ken Newburger, Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association Executive Director. “But because Jackson is so large, I think the city of Jackson will accommodate just fine and also the city of Pearl.”

“I’m a little surprised by the number, the counties that are opted out, given that there were only nine precincts through the entire state that and we got over 1,700 precincts that voted against either 65 or 65A,” said Senator Kevin Blackwell. “But from my understanding, there’s a number of folks that have opted out, they just wanted to kind of see how things are gonna go, and they’re gonna opt back in.”

Cities and counties can opt back in at any time. But petition efforts are underway in many locations in an effort to get it put on a ballot and allows the people to decide whether their area should vote back in.

Some of those petitions can be found here.

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