Mississippi: Initiative 65 & Alternative 65A
Mississippi residents will get the opportunity to vote on medical marijuana legalization on November 3, 2020! The deadline to register to vote during the 2020 election has passed, but you can check your registration status here.
Election Update: Mississippi voters approved Initiative 65 on November 3, 2020. Persons with one of 22 qualifying conditions will be able to legally purchase and consume medical marijuana as early as August 2021.
What are the details?
Mississippi will have two competing medical marijuana initiatives on its ballot. Initiative 65 is a broad medical marijuana initiative that is backed by cannabis reform activists. Alternative 65A is a much narrower medical marijuana initiative that was put on the ballot by the state legislature.
Supporters of medical marijuana legalization will need to cast votes for two separate questions if they wish to see medical marijuana legalized in Mississippi. The first question will ask voters if they support either of the medical marijuana initiatives or neither of the medical marijuana initiatives. The second question will ask voters if they prefer 65 or 65A (voters who choose “either” on the first question must also vote on the second question for their ballots to be valid).
Initiative 65 would do the following:
- Allow licensed physicians to recommend medical marijuana for patients with one of 22 qualifying conditions.
- Allow qualified patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for medical purposes.
- Allow medical marijuana to be dispensed by licensed treatment centers.
- Tax medical marijuana sales at the standard sales tax rate of 7%.
- Institute protections for caregivers who are licensed to provide medical marijuana for disabled, homebound and minor patients.
- Place the Mississippi Department of Health in charge of regulating the medical marijuana program.
- Require the state to begin issuing medical marijuana cards and treatment center licenses by August 15, 2021.
- Allow the state legislature to determine the details of Mississippi’s medical marijuana program, including qualifying conditions, tax rates, possession limits, treatment center regulations, program start dates, and more.
- Restrict marijuana smoking to terminally ill patients.
- Require “pharmaceutical-grade” marijuana products.