JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi House voted 104 to 14 to create a medical marijuana program in the state.
The bill will go back to the Mississippi Senate because the House made amendments to the bill. The Senate could accept the new version or seek final negotiations.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi House on Wednesday was debating a bill to create a medical marijuana program in the state, further limiting how much of the products a person could buy.
When the bill passed the Senate last week, it said a person with a marijuana prescription could obtain up to 3.5 grams of the substance per day, up to seven days a week. That is roughly 3.5 ounces per month.
The House Drug Policy Committee on Wednesday voted to reduce that amount to up to 3.5 grams of the substance per day, up to six days a week. That is about 3 ounces per month.
“We are not trying to put more smokable marijuana on the street,” said Republican Rep. Lee Yancey, the committee chairman.
The committee sent the proposal, Senate Bill 2095, to the full House for debate.
Yancey said the medical marijuana program would be limited to people with debilitating medical conditions such as cancer, sickle cell disease, glaucoma or dementia.
A wide margin of Mississippi voters in November 2020 approved an initiative to allow medical marijuana, and a program was supposed to have been created by the middle of 2021.
Six months after the election, the state Supreme Court invalidated the initiative by ruling it was not properly on the ballot because Mississippi’s initiative process itself was outdated. The ruling also left Mississippi without a way for people to petition to put issues in front of voters.
After the court ruling, legislative leaders appointed a committee to write a medical marijuana bill.
The bill sets taxes on the production and sale of cannabis, and it specifies that plants must be grown indoors under controlled conditions.
The House removed the state Department of Agriculture from any role in operating the medical marijuana program — a request made by Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson, a Republican.
The House also expanded the area where medical marijuana production facilities or dispensaries may locate, allowing them in commercial zones. The bill already allowed them in areas zoned for agriculture or industry.
The Senate could either accept the changes that the House made or seek a final round of negotiations.