Policy Recommendations Mississippi

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations for Mississippi

Thanks to the hard work of Mississippians for Compassionate Care, Initiative 65 qualified to appear on the November 2020 ballot and won; this authorized the creation of a statewide medical cannabis access program. Under the initiative individuals with debilitating medical conditions, including chronic pain and pain refractory to appropriate opioid management, can now possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis with a doctor's certification. This is exciting news for Mississippi patients, who previously had no safe or legal access to medical cannabis, or associated legal protections for possession and use. While the state has considerable work to do to deliver a comprehensive medical access model to patients, Initiative 65 could be the jump-start lawmakers need to build out from the state's existing limited program.

As Mississippi looks to 2021 ASA encourages state lawmakers to initiate work focused on building a comprehensive medical cannabis program. Such a program should provide legal protections to patients related to employment, housing, education and family law. The system should also authorize an in-state production system for lab-tested medical cannabis and cannabis products that can be made available to patients at legal retailers. ASA also recommends that lawmakers authorize patients to cultivate cannabis at home to reduce costs to patients.