How to Get a Mississippi Medical Marijuana Card [2022 Guide]

Overview
On the surface, Mississippi was one of the big winners of the November 2020 elections. Its residents voted to implement Initiative Measure No. 65, a medical marijuana program. However, a challenge to the initiative followed and led to its overturn by the state’s Supreme Court. It seems likely that future legislation will take the place of Measure No. 65, but eligible MMJ patients must realistically wait until 2023 at least to get their medicine in Mississippi.
State Program
Approved on
FEBRUARY 2, 2022
Online Application
YES
MD Evaluation
Required
YES
Card Validity
12Months
Patient Registry fee
$25
Phone:
601-576-7400 (Central Office Phone)
Official Gov Site:
msdh.ms.gov

CONSULTATION FEE RANGE

  • $200+

MMJ PURCHASING LIMITS

  • 84 GRAMS OF CANNABIS FLOWER PER MONTH

HOME CULTIVATION?

  • NO

MINIMUM AGE LIMIT

  •  18
  • HOWEVER, MMJ PATIENTS AGED 18-23 REQUIRE WRITTEN CERTIFICATIONS FROM TWO DOCTORS WORKING IN SEPARATE MEDICAL PRACTICES, ALTHOUGH THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE

LIST OF QUALIFYING CONDITIONS FOR A MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD IN MISSISSIPPI

  • Epilepsy or seizures
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Diabetic/peripheral neuropathy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • PTSD
  • ALS
  • Chronic/debilitating pain
  • Agitation of dementia
  • Glaucoma
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Autism (with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors)
  • Sickle-cell anemia
  • Severe muscle spasticity
  • Spastic quadriplegia
  • Intractable nausea
  • Spinal cord disease or severe injury
  • Pain refractory to the appropriate management of opioids

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November 3, 2020, was a great day for cannabis advocates in Mississippi. Over 74% of residents voted in favor of Initiative 65, which allowed medical marijuana in the state. It happened despite intense opposition, primarily from Republican lawmakers.

Also known as Measure 65, citizens initiated the MMJ program in January 2020. In March, the state legislature voted to include an alternative, called Measure 65A, on the ballot. The goal was to confuse voters and ensure that they voted for 65A or against both pieces of legislation. While 65A was an MMJ program of sorts, it left too many unanswered questions.

The Mississippi legislature has voted against or blocked around 20 MMJ-related bills. However, on this occasion, the people spoke.

It didn’t specify possession limits, qualifying conditions, taxes, fees, or whether smokable cannabis was allowed. Had Mississippians voted for 65A, they could have ended up with a highly restrictive program.

Mississippi has a long history of opposing medical marijuana. The Mississippi legislature has voted against or blocked around 20 MMJ-related bills. However, on this occasion, the people spoke and demanded a medical marijuana program.

Unfortunately, their voices were silenced within a matter of months.

The Stop-Start Medical Marijuana Program

Mississippi residents eligible for MMJ were preparing for an opportunity to see if cannabis could help with their condition. However, Mary Hawkins Butler, the Mayor of Madison, got behind her city’s move to invalidate the medical marijuana program. The city filed an emergency petition in October 2020.

It cited a law that said: “signatures of the qualified electors from any congressional district shall not exceed one-fifth (1/5) of the total number of signatures required to qualify an initiative petition for placement upon the ballot.” The issue here is that Mississippi now has four congressional districts instead of the five it used to have. As a result, it was mathematically impossible to adhere to that law.

mississippi-mmj-card

Supporters of the move to strike down the MMJ program claimed it was a constitutional issue and not opposition to cannabis. This seems unlikely given that Butler is a Republican, and the party has tried to shut down medical marijuana in Mississippi ever since the idea was floated.

On May 14, 2021, the Mississippi Supreme Court found in favor of the city of Madison and nullified Measure 65’s certification by the Secretary of State.

At that time, the state didn’t have a medical marijuana program. However, lawmakers acted quickly and introduced Senate Bill 2095 to the Senate on January 11, 2022. It went through the proper channels and, on February 2, 2022, Governor Tate Reeves signed the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act into law.

It will take many months for legal sales to begin. However, those interested in applying for a Mississippi medical marijuana card will have the opportunity to do so in June 2022. Here is the likely process.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Mississippi

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) will begin accepting online license applications for patients, medical practitioners, and cannabis cultivation/processing/testing/waste disposal/transportation entities by June 2022. The MSDH should begin issuing licenses for MMJ dispensaries by July 2022.

It seems likely that the MSDH will complete the type of process implemented by the majority of states with medical marijuana programs. As such, the application process will probably look as follows.

Step 1 – Schedule an Appoint with a Licensed Physician

First and foremost, you must have a qualifying medical condition. MMJ patients aged 17 or younger will need to apply with a parent or guardian. All applicants must be residents of the state. If you meet these criteria, you can schedule a consultation with a licensed doctor in Mississippi.

Apart from physicians, certified nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and optometrists can sign written MMJ certifications for conditions within their scope for practice. Such medical professionals must complete an initial eight hours of continuing medical education courses on MMJ along with five further hours each year. They must also perform a follow-up with patients within six months to check on the effectiveness of medical marijuana.

how-to-get-a-medical-mj-card-in-ms

Finally, only doctors of medicine or osteopathic medicine can sign written certifications for minors.

Please note that patients aged 18-23 require written certifications from two different practitioners from separate medical practices. An exception is made if the applicant is housebound or registered before they turned 18.

In any case, the physician will perform an examination and ask a few questions about the condition. They will try to understand why a patient needs MMJ rather than traditional treatment methods. If they feel they would benefit from marijuana, they will provide a written certification.

If telemedicine is permitted, you can book an online consultation with a doctor via Veriheal or a similar platform. Otherwise, you will need to visit the doctor in person.

Step 2 – Send Your Application to the Mississippi Department of Health

From June 2022, you can apply online through the MSDH’s portal. You’ll also have the option to mail your application to a postal address. According to the MSDH, licensure applications will have a 30-day approval time, whereas it will only be five days for MMJ patients.

Step 3 – Wait for Your Card

Finally, you will get a physical ID card in the post. Once you have it, you’re free to visit a licensed dispensary. MSDH estimates that MMJ will be available by late 2022.

Other Information on the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Process

We will need to wait until the second half of 2022 before knowing everything about the Mississippi MMJ program. However, we have endeavored to include the information we gleaned to date.

How Much Cannabis Can I Purchase & Possess in Mississippi?

Purchase and possession limits are based on Mississippi Medical Cannabis Equivalency Units (MMCEUs). One MMCEU equates to either 3.5 grams of marijuana flower, 100mg of THC in infused products, or 1 gram of cannabis concentrate.

Patients can purchase a maximum of six MMCEUs per week, which is 21 grams, and 24 MMCEUs in a month, which is 84 grams or close to three ounces. The maximum you can possess is 28 MMCEUs at one time, equivalent to 98 grams.

Dispensaries are not permitted to sell marijuana flower with a THC of over 30%, while oils, tinctures, and concentrates can’t exceed 60% THC.

Will a Mississippi MMJ Cardholder Be Allowed to Grow Marijuana at Home?

No. There is no provision for home cultivation, which is unlikely to change. Only medical cannabis businesses with a license from the Department of Health to grow marijuana can cultivate it.

Where Can I Purchase Marijuana?

The MSDH will ultimately regulate and license dispensaries, which will be called treatment centers in Mississippi. It has yet to outline how many dispensaries can operate in the state. However, the Department did say that no center could be located within 1,000 feet of a licensed child care center, school, or church unless they get a waiver.

All dispensary staff must complete a minimum of eight hours of continuing education about marijuana, followed by at least five hours every subsequent year.

Also, no dispensary can be within 1,500 feet of another dispensary’s entrance. These establishments can buy, cultivate, and use cannabis grown in Mississippi only. All dispensary staff must complete a minimum of eight hours of continuing education about marijuana, followed by at least five hours every subsequent year. Staff must also pay $25 for a work permit and be at least 21 years of age with no felony convictions.

Finally, you can’t enter a dispensary without a parent/guardian if aged 20 or under.

Where Can I Use Cannabis?

MMJ cardholders can only use their marijuana in a private residence. Smoking and vaping marijuana is legal, but not in public.

Does Mississippi Have Reciprocity?

Non-Mississippi residents with a valid MMJ card in another state can register with the MSDH to use medical marijuana. They need to produce their card, a statement from a doctor saying they have a condition making them eligible for MMJ in Mississippi, and submit any additional information requested by the MSDH.

Such patients can register a maximum of two times in a year for 15 days at a time, with each registration costing $75. They can buy up to 12 MMCEUs per 15-day period.

Once Mississippi MMJ patients have a valid card, they can purchase their medicine in certain states. A full list will become available once the program is underway.

Final Thoughts on Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Mississippi

Everything was set up for eligible MMJ patients to finally get their chance to buy cannabis in Mississippi. However, the Mississippi Supreme Court’s ruling left the state’s medical marijuana program in a state of flux. There were concerns over whether Mississippi would ever have MMJ.

However, the governor confirmed the beginning of a new Mississippi medical marijuana program in February 2022. MMJ patients can apply for their cards in June 2022, with sales likely to begin by the end of 2022.

Need a Medical Marijuana Card ?

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