Mississippi's cannabis laws have experienced a notable shift, moving from strict prohibition to permitting medical marijuana use. Navigating these rules might appear intricate, but fear not—we'll navigate through these shifts together.
Join us as we dive into Mississippi's cannabis laws, examining elements such as possession limits, growing guidelines, penalties, and the procedures for obtaining and distributing medical marijuana in the state. Together, let's unravel the complexities of Mississippi's changing cannabis scene:
Table of Contents
Is Cannabis Legal in Mississippi?
Mississippi Cannabis Laws
How the Legal Sale of Cannabis Happens
Penalties for Marijuana-Related Crimes
Where to Buy Cannabis Online
- Cannabis is legal for medical use in Mississippi.
- Medical card holders can possess up to 3.5 grams of flower, up to 100 mg of THC in infused products, and up to one gram of concentrate.
- There are penalties for possessing more than the allowable amount of cannabis, for unlicensed sales, and for consuming in public spaces.
Is Cannabis Legal in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, Tate Reeves signed SB 2095 into law in February 2022, permitting medical marijuana for patients with specific severe medical conditions. Before that, only low-THC cannabis was allowed for medical use under the Harper Grace's Law, limited to treating severe epilepsy. This law allowed patients to use CBD oil or resin with certain CBD and THC percentages.
Initially, the University of Mississippi Medical Center supplied CBD oil under strict regulations to very few qualified patients due to federal restrictions. Now, the Mississippi Cannabis Program covers all qualifying medical conditions. The Department of Health manages this program, overseeing licensing, regulation, and patient ID issuance, ensuring proper cultivation, testing, and transportation facilities.
Patients and caregivers can apply for medical cannabis certification through participating practitioners, then apply online within 60 days to the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program. Upon approval, they receive an electronic ID card to purchase medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries, expected to open by the end of 2022. Patients aged 18-23 require certification from two medical practitioners.
Recreational marijuana remains illegal in Mississippi, with potential fines, criminal charges, and jail time for possession. The state categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I substance, and cultivation is also prohibited, with penalties based on the plant's total weight.
Regulations for Medical Use
- Possession and purchase limits are calculated based on "Medical Cannabis Equivalency Units.” This means that medical card holders can possess up to 3.5 grams of flower, up to 100 mg of THC in infused products, and up to one gram of concentrate.
- Patients may not purchase more than 21 grams per week.
- Patients may not purchase more than 84 grams in one month.
- Patients may not possess more than 98 grams, which is less than 3.5 ounces, at any given time.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in Mississippi
Here's the revised list of qualifying conditions for medical patients in Mississippi:
- Parkinson's disease
- Huntington's disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spastic quadriplegia
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Sickle cell anemia
- Alzheimer's disease
- Agitation of dementia
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Pain refractory to opioid management
- Diabetic/peripheral neuropathy
- Spinal cord disease
- Severe injury causing chronic pain
- Chronic medical conditions producing cachexia or wasting
- Severe nausea
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms
Restrictions for Cannabis Use in Mississippi
In Mississippi, cannabis is legal for medical use. However, there are restrictions imposed on medical card holders, including:
- No smoking or vaping cannabis in vehicles or public spaces.
- Patients and caregivers can't grow cannabis.
- Minors need guardian consent for cannabis use.
- Under-21 patients need guardians in dispensaries.
- Cannabis use prohibits driving or operating machinery.
- No insurance coverage for medical cannabis.
- Employers can enforce drug testing.
- Landlords may restrict cannabis use at home.
- Diverting cannabis leads to ID revocation and felony charges for cardholders and staffers.
Mississippi Cannabis Laws
Here’s a quick look a the cannabis laws passed in Mississippi:
Initiative 65: Initially supported by voters in 2020, aimed to allow medical marijuana usage with conditions certified by licensed Mississippi physicians. However, the state's Supreme Court invalidated it in 2021.
Initiative 67: Proposes legalizing marijuana for medical use for adults over 18 and implementing taxes on cannabis distribution.
Initiative 68: Seeks to legalize marijuana for adults, emphasizing expungement of non-violent marijuana-related crimes and possession rights restoration for felons post-expungement.
Initiative 85: Aims to decriminalize specific marijuana activities, impose a sales tax, release non-violent marijuana-related prisoners, and set up entities to enforce the Initiative.
Senate Bill 2765 (SB 2765): Intends to establish the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, allowing medical marijuana use for patients with severe medical conditions. It includes regulations, licensing, taxation, and provisions for educational scholarships from cannabis tax revenue.
House Bill 119 (HB 119): Extends the validity of Harper Grace's Law, which permits CBD oil use for medical purposes in Mississippi.
SB 2095:Addresses the qualifications for the medical marijuana program, patient approval conditions, possession limits, regulatory authority, business requirements, local controls, taxation, and implementation timelines.
How Cannabis is Bought and Sold in Mississippi
In Mississippi, recreational marijuana sales are illegal, but medical cannabis is available for those with 28 qualifying conditions. They can buy limited amounts—up to 1 gram of concentrate, 3.5 grams of flower, or 100 milligrams of THC daily—via licensed dispensaries with a valid medical card. Limits apply: 21 grams per week, 84 grams per month, and possession of up to 98 grams at a time.
Dispensaries verify cards and track purchases in a database. Various forms like topicals, edibles, and more are offered to cater to patients' needs.
Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in Mississippi
Cannabis is legal within the specified possession limits for medical card holders. Otherwise, cannabis is illegal and subject to the following penalties:
- 30 grams or less: Fine of $100-$250 for the first offense.
- Subsequent convictions: 5-60 days imprisonment and up to $250 fine.
- Possession of larger amounts escalates to felony charges with imprisonment ranging from 2 years to 30 years and fines from $3,000 to $1,000,000, depending on the quantity.
- Selling various amounts carries felony charges, with penalties ranging from 3 years to 40 years imprisonment and fines between $3,000 and $1,000,000, based on the quantity sold.
Penalties for cultivation depend on the amount grown and follow possession or sale guidelines.
Hash & Concentrates:
- Possession or sale of hashish in varying quantities leads to misdemeanor or felony charges, carrying imprisonment ranging from 1 year to 40 years and fines from $1,000 to $1,000,000.
- Possession or selling of paraphernalia results in misdemeanor charges with potential imprisonment up to 6 months and fines up to $500. Selling to minors carries higher penalties.
- Convictions result in a 6-month driver’s license suspension.
- Possession of marijuana in a vehicle can lead to fines up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.
Additionally, automobile forfeiture doesn’t apply to possession below certain amounts.
Legal Cannabis and Buy Online Alternatives
Although cannabis is legal in many states, hemp-derived THC products are still rising as a noteworthy alternative thanks to their affordability and accessibility. Hemp-derived THC products are federally legal, unlike traditional marijuana products, meaning they can often be ordered online and shipped right to your door.
Read “Is Delta-8 Legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8-THC Laws” to learn more about hemp THC laws near you, then check out our Elev8 and Cloud9 Collections.