Despite being the home of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s only facility where cannabis was once grown by the federal government, patients in Mississippi still face tremendous access problems. In 2014, Mississippi enacted HB 1231, which creates an affirmative defense for the possession and use of CBD oil solely for patients who suffer from debilitating epilepsy. Known as “Harper Grace’s Law,” the bill only provides legal protections to this extremely limited patient population only if the CBD oil was either 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. The law requires that CBD oil must have at least 15 percent CBD and no more than 0.5 percent THC. In 2017, the legislature passed SB 2610, which clarifies the use of CBD in research for the treatment of seizures. The Hospitality State decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis in 1979, penalizing first-offenders of 30 grams or less with a $250 fine rather than imprisonment.
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