Uncertainty Not Slowing Down Mississippi Medical Cannabis Growth

Mississippi’s medical cannabis industry is already bustling even as the State Supreme Court considers striking down the legalization initiative that was supported by 70 percent of voters.

Full story after the jump.

Despite the current limbo state of Mississippi’s medical cannabis system — the Mississippi Supreme Court may yet strike down the state’s successful ballot initiative due to improper signature gathering — and licenses not being issued until August at the earliest, many for-profit and nonprofit corporations have already formed in anticipation of medical cannabis coming to Mississippi, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports.

Some 90 cannabis-related businesses have registered with the Secretary of State, the Daily Journal reported, citing state records.

Sam Humphrey, an urban farmer in Jackson, Mississippi who currently grows hemp, said it only makes sense for him to grow THC-rich medical cannabis because the two plants use similar infrastructures to grow, harvest, and process.

“As a farmer, it’d be unwise to neglect another potential crop. At the end of the day, this is a plant. It’s a special plant, but it’s a plant.” — Humphrey, via the Daily Journal

The state is seeing a wave of new businesses ancillary to the industry including schools and associations dedicated to helping Mississippians navigate the licensing process, including Emmanuel Williams’ group, The Mississippi Black Farmers Medical Marijuana Association.

The more people know, the more they are educated about it, the more people you’re going to see give it a shot,” said Williams. “It’s a win-win situation.”

Mississippi passed its medical cannabis initiative in November with a historic 70 percent approval. The initiative was facing court challenges from a Mississippi mayor from the outset and it now sits in the State Supreme Court, awaiting oral arguments next month. If the law is overturned by the court, the Mississippi legislature has crafted a replacement bill but lawmakers remain divided on how closely the new bill should mirror I-65.

Ken Newburger, executive director of the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association, said he has “hundreds” of potential licensees ready to go and that thousands of people have contacted the association since November, looking to get an early foothold in the fledgling market.

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