JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi’s new medical cannabis program is closer to getting product out to licensed customers.

Officials at the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) had 180 days to prepare for the program, which they said was much less time than other states who had to set up similar programs.

“This is an exciting time and a critical time. We do need more testing facilities. The licensure is unlimited, so we do not have a cap like some other states do. So if there are interested parties out there, I would really encourage them to look at those regulations about what that might look like for a businesses model for them also,” said Kris Jones, director of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program (MMCP).

As of October 2022, the program has 47 cultivators, 138 dispensaries, and 406 patients.

With those numbers growing everyday, one major concern is making sure the drug does not get into the wrong hands.

“My only concern with regulating this new industry is that from an agency standpoint that we ensure the safety of the public and that we reduce any opportunity of diversion that we possibly can,” said State Health Officer Dr. Dan Edney.

The product is being tested and expected to hit the shelves by January 2023.