Business-friendly medical cannabis initiative moves forward in Mississippi

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A Mississippi group advocating for medical marijuana legalization in the Deep Southern state turned in more than 105,000 signatures to get a free market-oriented initiative on the ballot next year.

Mississippians for Compassionate Care submitted the signatures to the secretary of state’s office, which now must review and certify the signatures.

The initiative has these main elements:

  • Medical marijuana products would be dispensed through regulated MMJ treatment centers. Those centers also could cultivate and process the cannabis, making them vertically integrated.
  • There would be no limits on the number of MMJ treatment centers, nor could the state set prices.
  • State regulators would be required to license centers by Aug. 15, 2021.
  • Local zoning couldn’t be any more restrictive than for licensed pharmacies.
  • Doctors would recommend MMJ for patients. Patients would be able to buy the equivalent of 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days.

Mississippians for Compassionate Care said it is confident voters will support the measure.

In a recent Facebook post, the group said it had support from “medical professionals, law enforcement officers, leaders in the faith community and war veterans who believe that medical marijuana will be a beneficial treatment option to patients in Mississippi.”

Others, including Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, say there’s a lack of scientific evidence proving the benefits of marijuana treatment outweigh any risks.

Mississippians for Compassionate Care said it actually collected more than 214,000 signatures, but 105,686 were certified by local clerks.

Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily