Mississippi became the 37th state to legalize medical cannabis after Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed the state’s new marijuana bill into law yesterday, NPR reports. The new law takes effect immediately.
The signing comes after a months-long back-and-forth between lawmakers and the governor, who in December ultimately threatened to veto the bill if the program’s daily cannabis purchasing limits were not reduced.
“There is no doubt that there are individuals in our state who could do significantly better if they had access to medically prescribed doses of cannabis. There are also those who really want a recreational marijuana program that could lead to more people smoking and less people working, with all the societal and family ills that that brings.” — Gov. Reeves, in a statement posted on Twitter
Under the program, patients will be allowed to purchase up to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day, or about three ounces per month. Cannabis products will be taxed at both production and sale, and all products must be grown indoors.
“For all the people who are touched in some way by a loved one or someone they know who benefits from medical cannabis, this brings their quality of life back,” Ken Newburger, Executive Director of the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association, said in the report.
Mississippi voters passed a medical cannabis legalization initiative during the November 2020 elections but that initiative was invalidated by the state Supreme Court in May, which ruled that the effort had been assembled under an outdated signature-gathering process. The delayed rollout has also stalled millions of dollars in cannabis industry investments for the state.
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