Becoming a patient in Mississippi

Summary

Under Mississippi law, a patient may acquire, possess and administer CBD oil if they have a debilitating epileptic condition or related illness and have obtained a written order to treat the condition by a a physician who is licensed to practice in the state. The CBD oil must be at least 15% CBD and no more than 0.5% THC. Patients are not protected from arrest, but have an affirmative defense available if they are arrested for possession of CBD oil.

What's Legal

Patients have a legal right to obtain, possess, and administer CBD oil that is  at least 15% CBD and no more than 0.5% THC for the use of treating a debilitating epileptic condition or related illness.

Eligible conditions

The only condition eligible under Mississippi law is "a debilitating epileptic condition or related illness."

Application process

There is no formal application process; however, patients must sign a "hold-harmless agreement" that releases the state from legal liability related to the possession and use of CBD oil in Mississippi. 

Doctor

Only physicians licensed to practice medicine in Mississippi may write a recommendation under HB 1231.

Access/Caregivers

Parents and legal guardians of patients are eligible for the affirmative defense that is offered to patients.

Consumption

The are no restrictions on how a patient may consume CBD oil. Only CBD oil that is at least 15% CBD and no more than 0.5% THC may be possessed by qualified patients or their parent/legal guardian. The CBD oil must be obtained from or tested by the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi and dispensed by the Department of Pharmacy Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Age Limits

The are no age restrictions under HB 1231.

Confidentiality

There are no explicit privacy protections in HB 1231.

Housing

There are not housing protections in HB 1231.

Employment

There are not employment protections in HB 1231.

Insurance

The law is silent on whether health insurance must cover CBD oil in Mississippi.

Out of State patients

Out of state patients are eligible for protections, but only if they have a recommendation from a physician licensed to practice medicine in Mississippi.

For More information

Quick Links

University of Mississippi Medical Center Statement on the availability of cannabidiol oil: 

The Mississippi Legislature passed legislation in April approving the University of Mississippi Medical Center to dispense cannabidiol oil (CBD) for the treatment of epileptic seizures in children. However, major regulatory requirements still exist before patients could receive the potential treatment in a carefully controlled clinical trial.

Those requirements fall broadly into three categories: Securing federal regulatory approval to grow the variant of low-THC, high-CBD marijuana from which the oil is extracted, process and transport it.  Secondly, FDA approval for the manufacturing and clinical plan will require an investigational new drug approval. The third requirement is to initiate the clinical trial, with all the requisite safeguards, to enroll candidate children and test the oil’s efficacy and safety.

Faculty and staff members at both the University of Mississippi and the Medical Center are moving forward on those three tracks simultaneously. For example, the National Center for Natural Products Research at the UM School of Pharmacy has recently gained approval from two federal agencies to grow a certain quota of the particular strain.

However many requirements remain ahead and meeting them could take a year or more. 

Anecdotal evidence suggests CBD oil may be effective for intractable epilepsy in children. However, rigorous and formal research studies in humans need to be conducted to establish the oil’s effectiveness and safety.

Any such clinical trial established at UMMC would initially involve children with refractory or more serious types of epilepsy. There are no current plans to study the effectiveness of CBD oil or smoked marijuana on seizure activity in adults. Nor do neurologists at UMMC feel that smoked marijuana – whether medical or recreational – currently has a place in treating epilepsy.

The regulatory requirements for growth, production and use of CBD oil, and the safety measures involved in establishing a clinical trial are both significant and in place with good reason.

We understand the urgency and immediate need for improved treatments and are moving forward under that motivation. At the same time, our efforts are balanced by great measures of care, safety and compliance with current laws and the safety of the patients.

If and when regulatory requirements are met and clinical-trial setup is complete, enrollment of appropriate patients will begin.

http://www.umc.edu/News_and_Publications/Press_Release/2014-06-09-00_Cannabidiol_Oil.aspx