JACKSON, Miss. – After first rejecting it late Thursday, the Mississippi Senate passed a medical marijuana bill in the wee hours of the morning Friday.
The vote was 30-19.
Senate Bill 2765, the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, would tax medical cannabis by 7% and generate state revenue.
The way was paved for Senate Bill 2765 after voters in Mississippi overwhelmingly approved Initiative 65 in the November 2020 election, legalizing medical marijuana in Mississippi.
Under Initiative 65, The Mississippi State Department of Health has full control over the medical marijuana program. It allows patients with at least one of 22 debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana, under the approval of Mississippi licensed physicians and licensed treatment centers.
But Initiative 65 doesn’t detail specifics of the state’s cannabis program like the new senate bill attempts to.
Senator Kevin Blackwell (R), who filed Senate Bill 2765 also says it would allow for a legal cardholder who has valid registration for medical marijuana to purchase the drug without being subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner possible, as long as it falls within the allowable amount of cannabis.
The bill is now in the hands of the House.
Despite being approved by voters, it’s important to note that Initiative 65 is currently being challenged in the supreme court by Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler.
The mayor wants the entire initiative tossed out, saying the law allowing the measure was unconstitutional.