Mississippi’s Medical Cannabis Industry Sees New Bill
MISSISSIPI– Mississippi’s medical cannabis industry is set to see some changes, following the final approval of a new bill that aims to make life easier for the state’s medical cannabis operators. House Bill 1158, passed by both chambers as of last week, now awaits Governor Tate Reeves’ signature.
The bill comes less than three months after the state launched medical cannabis sales in January, and contains several provisions that may be beneficial to businesses operating in the industry.
One of the significant changes is the modification of commercial cannabis cultivation layout requirements. The tweak makes some existing grows legal, with up to 150,000 square feet of canopy in two locations now considered acceptable. This adjustment could help boost production capacity and meet increasing demand for medical cannabis in the state.
Another significant provision in the bill is the reduction in wait times for patients seeking medical cannabis. The state Department of Health now has just 10 days to approve or reject MMJ patient applications, providing quicker access to medical cannabis for those in need.
The bill also permits testing labs to act as product transporters and allows dispensaries to sell not only full-strength MMJ but also hemp and CBD products. Retail licensees will now have 18 months, rather than 12, to complete their build-outs without surrendering their business permits.
The bill also introduces branding changes, allowing cannabis brands to incorporate marijuana leaves into logos and marketing images, and allowing companies to post cannabis product photos online. Additionally, the Department of Health can now contract with private labs for compliance testing.
Overall, the bill appears to be a step in the right direction for Mississippi’s medical cannabis industry. With lawmakers making these necessary changes, businesses will have a better chance to thrive, and patients can expect quicker access to the medication they require.
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