Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) does not plan to call lawmakers back for a special session, meaning the medical cannabis legalization bill will not be considered in the Legislature until the regular session begins in January, Mississippi Today reports. Lawmakers had expected Reeves would heed their call for the special session to consider the medical cannabis bill and another for an incentive program for nurses and health care workers.
Earlier this month, Reeves indicated that he wanted tighter limits on the quantity of medical cannabis that patients could purchase and to limit the amount of THC allowed in medical cannabis products sold in the state. During a November 1 press conference, Reeves said that getting the medical cannabis program “done right is more important than getting it done quick.”
Mississippi voters approved a medical cannabis initiative during the 2020 election, but the state Supreme Court overturned the proposal in May, ruling that Mississippi’s initiative process is outdated and unworkable. In response, lawmakers introduced legislation to enact the reforms and called on the governor to call a special session to bring up the bill for a vote. Reeves had said he would call the session if lawmakers could agree on a plan, but that no longer appears to be the case.
The plan by lawmakers will also likely face pushback from state Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson, who has said that he has a legal challenge ready if the Legislature approves any medical cannabis reforms. In an August letter to state Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Gipson said that “elected officials took an oath of office to ‘faithfully support the Constitution of the United States … and obey the laws thereof’” and that cannabis legalization of any kind runs afoul of federal law.
In October, medical cannabis advocates held a protest demanding Tate call the session to enact the reforms.
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