Mississippi lawmakers request special session to legalize medical marijuana

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Mississippi’s legislative leaders asked Gov. Tate Reeves to call a special session to consider a medical marijuana measure and tackle other legislative issues.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the Republican governor’s spokeswoman, Bailey Martin, said lawmakers and the governor’s staff discussed the possibility of a special session this fall, “and we are looking forward to engaging further.”

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn, both Republicans, told reporters the special session could be completed in as little as one day.

A Mississippi legislative group last week agreed on a proposed medical marijuana program, four months after the state Supreme Court voided a business-friendly, voter-approved MMJ ballot initiative.

The legislative proposal is more limited than the citizen initiative, which the 2021 MJBizFactbook had projected would have generated $265 million in sales in the first full year of the program and $800 million annually by the fourth year.

For example, the legislative proposal would enable local governments to opt out of the program in their jurisdictions, according to the Associated Press.

The bill also reportedly would require a three-fifths majority to pass, but legislative leaders said they believe there are enough votes for approval.