The Mississippi Legislature has approved a medical cannabis bill moving on to Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, who has not indicated whether he would sign the version approved by lawmakers, The Hill reports. Reeves had threatened to veto previous versions of the legislation over daily limits for patients he felt were too high – the version sent to his desk includes a three-ounce monthly cap and daily purchasing limits of 3.5 grams of flower and one gram of concentrate.
The bill imposes a 7% sales tax and 5% excise tax on medical cannabis sales in the state.
In an interview with WLOX on Wednesday, Reeves did not say whether he would sign or veto the bill or allow it to become law without his signature but said that his team has been working with the Legislature for nearly six months on the proposal and that he would make his decision by “early next week.”
“I’m very pleased that we got to see so much progress made in improving the bill over the last six months. We worked hard to reduce the overall amount of marijuana in the bill, and to the legislature’s credit, they made a lot of progress there. It initially started at 5 ounces, it’s down to 3, so a 40% decline in the total amount of marijuana any individual can get in one year. They also ensured to protect young people if you’re under 25 you’ll need a physician that approves the allowance of a marijuana card.” – Reeves to WLOX
Jax James, NORML State Policies Manager, described the bill’s passage as “arguably bittersweet for Mississippi’s patients.”
While these steps forward are a welcome development, they are also long overdue,” James told The Hill. “The overwhelming majority of voters decided in favor of this policy change over a year ago, and for the past 14 months the will of the people has been denied as a result of the actions of the state Supreme Court and the Governor.”
Mississippi voters approved medical cannabis reforms in 2020 – with 71% of voter support – but the state’s highest court threw out the initiative after determining that the ballot initiative process was outdated.
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