Mississippi sets July 1 timetable for finalizing medical cannabis rules

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Regulations for Mississippi’s medical cannabis program likely will be in place by July 1, according to members of the state Board of Health, but it’s still unknown when sales will begin.

The state is set to begin issuing licenses for dispensaries and cards to patients by Aug. 15, the Associated Press reported.

But growing marijuana plants for the program will take months, and growers can’t begin cultivating until they get a license. Then a laboratory will need to test the potency of the plants.

The state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, said it could take six to nine weeks for growers to get viable plants for use in the program.

There’s also a pending legal matter: The Mississippi Supreme Court is expected on April 14 to hear a challenge to the MMJ initiative that  voters approved by a wide margin in November.

The program’s list of qualifying conditions includes cancer, epilepsy and sickle cell anemia.