Mississippi regulators have issued medical cannabis licenses to medical practitioners, patients, dispensaries, cultivators, processors, laboratories, disposal companies, and workers in the two years since voters approved the reforms; but patients still don’t have access to products, the Clarion Ledger reports. Kris Jones Adcock, director of the Medical Cannabis Program, though, said patients should have access to products by the beginning of 2023.
As of Thursday, officials have permitted 406 patients, 117 practitioners, 138 dispensaries, 47 cultivators, eight processors, three disposal companies, two testing labs, and issued 491 work permits to businesses. The provisional licenses are valid for 120 days and allow the Mississippi State Department of Health to monitor the companies before issuing a long-term license.
State Health Officer Daniel Edney told the Ledger that he believes the state has “enough practitioners now to take care of the patients that are currently certified” but that officials “will be recruiting more.”
“We’re seeing increases every day in the number of practitioners that are interested in the program,” Edney told the Ledger, “and we’re seeing increases every day in the number of patients interested in the program.”
Edney added that officials are doing everything allowable under the state medical cannabis law “to keep diversion as low as possible” but that they “will not get that to zero.”
Mississippi’s medical cannabis law officially took effect on July 1. Under the program, patients will be allowed to purchase up to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day, or about three ounces per month. The law covers individuals with cancer, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease, terminal illness, and debilitating medical conditions that cause cachexia, chronic pain, seizures, severe or intractable nausea, or severe and persistent muscle spasms.
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