County allows medical marijuana business


By not opting out by the May 3 deadline Kemper County, the Town of DeKalb, and the Town of Scooba all kept the door open to the possibility of the medical marijuana business locating and operating in the county.

The Kemper County Board of Supervisors, Dekalb Board of Al­dermen, and Scooba Board of Al­dermen, all had items regarding the future of Medical Marijuana on their agendas during either April or May. All three loads de­clined to opt out, with no visible resistance shown from any mem­ber of the three boards, thus au­tomatically opting in.

The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act set a deadline of May 3 for counties and munici­palities to opt out of medical marijuana. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed legislation legaliz­ing medical cannabis on Feb. 2 after being enacted by the Leg­islature. The law permits the use of medical cannabis to treat de­bilitating medical conditions such as cancer, chronic pain and seizures, among other maladies. The law was effective immedi­ately upon signing by the gover­nor, although medical cannabis will not become available for months.

Medical cannabis products will include cannabis flower, cannabis extracts, edible cannabis prod­ucts, beverages, topical prod­ucts, ointments, oils, tinctures and suppositories.

In the November 2020 election, Mississippi voters approved Ini­tiative Measure No. 65, which amended the Mississippi Consti­tution to allow qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions — certified by licensed Mississippi physi­cians — to use marijuana. The initiative was struck down by the state Supreme Court in

These are some of the provisions of the medical marijuana law, according to published reports:

— The first licenses and registrations will be given to cannabis growing, cul­tivation and packaging fa­cilities. The marijuana must be cultivated inside a building. The Mississippi State Department of Health will oversee the program.

— A medical profes­sional can only prescribe medical marijuana within the scope of his/her prac­tice. This requires an in-person visitation. The law allows patients to buy up to 3 ounces of marijuana per month.

— The bill applies the state's 7% sales tax and a new 5% excise tax to cannabis sales. If a person bought $100 of cannabis, they would pay $12 in taxes.

— A marijuana dispen­sary has to be more than 1,000 feet away from churches and schools.

— Although the county has to follow the laws in the 495-page Act, the state gives the county the right to add regulations to the businesses.

— Mississippi’s bill al­lows micro-growers to re­ceive licenses for as little as $2,000 a year with a $1,500 application fee. The costs are tiered in six levels based on a growing facility’s size.

— Large cultivators with more than 100,000 square feet of growing space will have to pay a $60,000 ap­plication fee and $150,000 annual license fee. The dispensary sys­tem, however, isn’t tiered. Business owners will have to pay $15,000 to apply for a license to sell and an annual fee of $25,000, re­gardless of the busi­nesses’ size.

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