Mississippi State Department of Health Sets Timeline for Medical Cannabis Program

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The Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed during a Feb. 3 meeting that regulations for the state’s medical cannabis program will be in place by a July 1 deadline outlined in the ballot initiative that legalized medical cannabis in the state, according to an AP News report.

Mississippi voters approved Initiative 65 on Election Day, allowing patients with one of 22 qualifying conditions to access medical cannabis.

The initiative sets an Aug. 15 deadline for the state to start issuing cannabis business licenses and patient ID cards, AP News reported.

The State Department of Health said it could take months beyond that time for medical cannabis products to reach patients, according to the news outlet, as cultivators get their operations up and running and product undergoes testing before hitting dispensary shelves.

Meanwhile, the Mississippi Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler challenging the initiative process that legalized the state’s medical cannabis program.

Butler filed the complaint in late October, just one week before Election Day, arguing that petitioners gathered signatures from outdated congressional districts.

The Mississippi Legislature is currently considering bills that would regulate a medical cannabis program should the Supreme Court side with Butler, AP News reported.

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