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Patients will need some added patience as medical marijuana applications go live online

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 7:43 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Another major step towards getting the medical marijuana industry off the ground in Mississippi is happening today. License applications are live on the Department of Health website.

Senator Kevin Blackwell said during the session that they anticipate around 25,000 people qualifying for cards in the first year and up to 125,000 by year five. But what we’ve learned is that some added patience is needed if you plan to be one of those patients this year.

”Just looking ahead, hopeful,” said Monica Bass. “Hopeful in every aspect.”

Sickle cell patient Monica Bass is holding onto that hope amidst the waiting game. She went ahead and logged onto the Department of Health website Wednesday morning. Potential patients can start the application process but can’t complete it just yet.

“Today has been exciting in that June 1 finally came and I knew that it would just be step one, as I took it as a baby step,” noted Bass. “As I got to the end, there was an example on one of the PDFs of how the card is actually going to look. So it just really showed promise and excitement.”

Angie Calhoun’s phone has been ringing off the hook with questions at the Mississippi Cannabis Patients Alliance.

“I really don’t want anybody to be in too big of a hurry,” described Calhoun. “I’ve even heard some people say, well, oh, there’s only a limited number of applicants that they’ll take for court. And that is absolutely not true. We do not have a cap on how many patients we can take care of.”

Another thing to remember...

“We’re going to have this bottleneck because obviously, we have our practitioners applying today, and we have our patients applying today,” said Calhoun. “But patients don’t have practitioners.”

Without connecting with that certified doctor, patients can’t submit their application.

“We personally are not going to apply for a card today,” said Christine Loftin.

Christine Loftin’s son Brian has a mitochondrial disease and has had frequent seizures most of his life. They’re waiting till they connect with a certified doctor before filling out anything online. But she’s finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel with the application process starting up.

“I will never give up, I will continue to fight this battle for him,” explained Loftin. “And until I don’t have a breath left it that it’s my child, it’s his life. And I’m fighting for everyone else as well. It’s a quality of life issue for so many people.”

The Mississippi Patients Alliance suggests having your records related to your debilitating condition ready to take to the doctor once you find out who’s participating in the program. And even once patients receive their cards, it’s expected to be late fall or early winter before they’ll be able to walk in a dispensary and get medical marijuana.

To join the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program Portal, click HERE.

For full details on all the documents you’ll need and the steps that must be completed before submitting an application, click HERE.

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