There is unquestionably a ‘disconnect’ between many states in America when it comes to marijuana legality. We have cannabis-friendly states such as California, Colorado, and Oregon on one side. On the other, there remain staunch anti-marijuana locations, including Indiana and Idaho.
In general, you know where you stand legally in each state regarding cannabis. The same can’t be said for CBD. Most states permit its use even if many of them don’t have specific legislation. However, obscure local and county laws can confuse residents.
This is why we have created guides to inform you of the situation regarding cannabidiol in various states. This article takes a look at whether CBD oil is legal in Mississippi. First, however, let’s investigate the laws surrounding cannabis in the Magnolia State, which have changed dramatically one way, then the other, in recent times.
What Are the Marijuana Laws in Mississippi?
On November 3, 2020, 74% of voters said ‘yes’ to Initiative 65, a measure to legalize medical marijuana.
According to Initiative 65, the Mississippi Department of Health had to create rules and regulations for an MMJ program by July 1, 2021. The Department was also supposed to issue ID cards and treatment center licenses by August 15, 2021. Realistically, registered MMJ patients were in a position where they could buy cannabis by the end of 2021.
Initiative 65 stated that 22 medical conditions qualified for an MMJ card. These included, but were not limited to:
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sickle-cell anemia
According to the program, MMJ patients could possess a maximum of 2.5 ounces every 14 days. Local towns were unable to ban MMJ, although home cultivation was forbidden.
A Twist in the Tale
The Mayor of Madison, Mary Hawkins Butler, filed a legal challenge against the MMJ program. According to the plaintiffs in the case, the constitutional amendment violated procedural rules for placing measures on the ballot. On May 14, 2021, the Supreme Court of Mississippi overruled Initiative 65 by a 6-3 majority. It cited the state ballot initiative process, which makes it impossible for citizen-initiated measures to qualify for the ballot.
In June 2021, the Mississippi Senate Public Health Committee said the basic principles of the MMJ initiative must be honored. It is now up to the state’s lawmakers to create a program, and Governor Tate Reeves said he favors doing so. However, it seems certain that Mississippi residents must wait until November 2022, at the least before any such legislation is passed.
For now, eligible MMJ patients and dispensary owners must wait and see what happens.
Cannabis Penalties in Mississippi
Until the state introduces new legislation and starts issuing MMJ cards, cannabis remains illegal in Mississippi. Therefore, individuals are still subject to fines and possible jail time for sale, possession, or use.
Although Mississippi law has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, the state issues harsh penalties beyond that. When caught with under 30 grams of cannabis, a second offense is a misdemeanor and results in up to 60 days in prison. A third offense could see you spend up to six months in jail.
If you have over 30 grams of marijuana, it is a felony crime with a jail term of up to three years. It doesn’t matter if it is your first offense. The difference between having 30 and 31 grams of weed on your person in Mississippi is profound! Once caught with 250+ grams, you could receive a prison term of eight years.
The sale of any amount of cannabis in Mississippi is a felony and carries jail time of up to three years. Once the amount exceeds 500 grams, the maximum sentence increases to 20 years. Incidentally, selling to a minor or within 1500 feet of a church, school, or another designated area, is a felony that carries double prison time and fines.
Therefore, if you sell 10 grams to someone outside a school, you could spend six years in jail. You also receive a $6,000 fine. Of course, the money is the least of your worries in that scenario.
Is CBD Oil Permitted in Mississippi?
The 2018 Farm Bill may have legalized industrial hemp cultivation. However, it didn’t permit the use of CBD on a federal level. As a result, each state has different cannabidiol laws. In Mississippi, CBD oil is legal for medical use. That is, as long as a licensed physician in the state obtains it for a patient. The physician must directly supervise the administration of the oil.
This is due to House Bill 1231, legislation passed by both House and Senate in 2014. It is a restrictive measure, as the CBD must come from one of three approved research centers. It must also contain at least 15% CBD and a maximum of 0.5% THC.
Moreover, only patients with a debilitating epileptic condition need apply. What if you don’t have a catastrophic seizure disorder or intractable epilepsy? Can you still legally purchase CBD in Mississippi?
Fortunately, the state has recently changed its stance. Mississippi has become slightly less harsh in its anti-cannabinoid crusade. Lawmakers passed SB 2610 in 2017. It permitted CBD use in the research of several medical conditions, including the treatment of seizures. However, it wasn’t until July 2019 that the state officially legalized CBD for the general population.
More recent legislation allows the general population in Mississippi to use CBD, though guidelines are more restrictive than in some other states.
HB 1547 legalized CBD products with at least 50mg of CBD per ml. Also, the maximum level of THC is 2.5mg per ml. Therefore, a 30ml bottle of CBD oil must contain at least 1,500mg of CBD and no more than 75mg of THC. In essence, CBD products need to have a CBD to THC ratio of at least 20:1.
Patients with MMJ cards should have no issues purchasing CBD in Mississippi once the medical marijuana program commences.
Where Can I Buy CBD in Mississippi?
If you decide to use CBD in Mississippi, make sure you only use brands that offer third-party lab reports. This information enables you to determine how much CBD and THC are in each product. Otherwise, you could find yourself in trouble. The possession of any amount of CBD with over 2.5mg of THC per ml is illegal. Police in the state will also arrest anyone in possession of a product that resembles cannabis.
There are no limits on how much CBD you can buy if it falls within the legal parameters. There are also a growing number of physical stores that sell CBD in Mississippi. However, you will find that it is a better idea to rely on a reputable online brand. Top-rated companies such as PureKana and Premium Jane sell to most states with a handful of exceptions.
Industrial Hemp in Mississippi
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of the crop federally. However, the onus is on states to take the first step. This involves submitting a hemp growing program to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for approval. Mississippi was one of the few states to hold out on legalizing hemp growing initially.
This is despite the existence of the Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Task Force, created as part of HB 1547. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce was told to complete a detailed study of hemp’s possible costs and benefits. When the Task Force met in December 2019, it became clear that farmers would not get to grow hemp.
Fortunately, common sense prevailed in the state. In March 2020, the Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act easily passed the House. The Senate then amended the bill, and the House concurred with the changes.
Mississippi finally passed the Act into law in June 2020. It legalized hemp cultivation and directed the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce to create a plan. However, farmers looking to grow hemp must send their hemp production applications directly to the USDA. This is because Mississippi lawmakers decided not to provide the funding needed for a state program.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis and CBD Laws in Mississippi
Mississippi residents voted overwhelmingly to allow cannabis in November 2020. However, a flaw in the state’s ballot initiative process meant the Mississippi Supreme Court struck the program down. It doesn’t mean the end of MMJ in Mississippi, but it will lead to a significant delay. Until medical marijuana becomes legal in the state, its sale, use, or possession carry severe penalties depending on the amount you’re caught with.
However, products must contain at least 50mg of CBD per ml and a maximum of 2.5mg of THC per ml.
In some ways, the state’s stance on cannabidiol isn’t a bad compromise at all. Customers are guaranteed products with significant amounts of CBD. It is handy in an unregulated industry to know that you’ll get plenty of CBD for your cash. Also, the low THC level means you don’t have to worry about intoxication. Nonetheless, make sure you only buy from physical stores or online brands that provide third-party lab testing.