By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS, Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi House and Senate negotiators stated Thursday that they’ve agreed on a proposed medical marijuana program. Leaders are anticipated to ask Republican Gov. Tate Reeves to name the Legislature into session to place the plan into legislation.
The step comes months after the Mississippi Supreme Court tossed out a medical marijuana initiative that voters accepted final November. Justices dominated in May that Mississippi’s initiative course of was old-fashioned and the medical marijuana proposal was not correctly on the poll.
The legislative proposal will not be equivalent to the voter-approved initiative. The proposal would permit native governments to restrict the place the marijuana may very well be grown, processed or bought. That was not in Initiative 65.
The two lead negotiators — Republican Sen. Kevin Blackwell of Southaven and Republican Rep. Lee Yancey of Brandon — stated Thursday that passing a invoice would take a three-fifths majority due to the tax provisions, and leaders of the House and Senate imagine they’ve have sufficient votes lined up.
Yancey stated the proposed program would assist folks with debilitating sicknesses akin to epilepsy, a number of sclerosis or most cancers.
“This is compassionate aid,” Yancey stated. “This will not be a leisure factor.”
Yancey stated that if the invoice turns into legislation, cities and counties can be have 90 days to choose out of permitting medical marijuana rising websites, processing services and dispensaries. But if native governing boards resolve to take action, voters may petition for an election to overturn that call.
Blackwell stated if a metropolis or county opts out of permitting services, individuals who dwell in these locations would nonetheless have the ability to possess and use medical marijuana.
Blackwell stated negotiating particulars of the invoice was a protracted course of.
“It’s not an ideal invoice, by any stretch of the creativeness,” he stated.
— Marijuana for medicinal use may solely be grown indoors.
— The state Department of Agriculture can be answerable for licensing and regulating companies that develop, course of or transport the merchandise. Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson has stated he doesn’t need the division to have that position so long as marijuana is against the law beneath federal legislation. Yancey stated the Agriculture Department may set a contract with one other entity, such because the Board of Pharmacy, to deal with the duties.
— The state Department of Health would regulate medical marijuana testing services and analysis services. It additionally would license the physicians, doctor assistants, nurse practitioners and optometrists who advocate medical marijuana for sufferers. The Health Department additionally would license sufferers who obtain medical marijuana and the caregivers who would possibly want to purchase it for them. The license for a affected person or caregiver would price $25 a 12 months, and every caregiver additionally would pay $37 for an annual felony background verify.
— The Department of Revenue would regulate dispensaries.
— Cultivation companies, the place the vegetation are grown, must have at the very least some homeowners who’re Mississippi residents.
— One individual or enterprise may personal no a couple of cultivation website, one processing website and 5 dispensaries.
— Medical marijuana may very well be smoked, utilized in merchandise akin to lotions or drops or utilized in meals merchandise akin to gummies or drinks. Limits can be set on what number of one individual may acquire in a month.
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