Mississippi’s cannabis industry regulations are undergoing significant revisions, with the state’s Department of Health releasing a 202-page document outlining proposed changes to the existing rules. These modifications have been made available for industry comments and public feedback until October 2, as reported by The National Law Review.
These changes come after months of discussions and adjustments to Mississippi’s relatively new medical marijuana program, which commenced sales in January. Both regulatory authorities and state legislators have actively engaged in proposing updates to enhance the system.
The primary focus of these alterations from the Department of Health is to provide more precise definitions for various terms within the marijuana industry. Here are some notable highlights:
Technical Terminology: The revisions introduce a range of new technical terms, encompassing “cannabis facility” and “total THC,” among others.
Industrial Hemp Clarification: The rules now clearly differentiate between “industrial hemp” and “cannabis,” effectively excluding “cannabis products” and “cannabis flower” from the category of hemp.
Concentrate Classifications: The updated rules classify kief, hashish, bubble hash, oil, and wax as “concentrates.”
Indoor Cannabis Cultivation Definition: A more precise definition for “indoor cannabis cultivation” has been provided.
Medical Cannabis Establishment Representatives: The definition has been refined to include individuals with a 10% or greater ownership stake in any MMJ business, as well as independent contractors responsible for daily operations.
The new rules also expand upon the regulations applicable to medical marijuana patients, caregivers, and medical practitioners who provide recommendations for patients. These changes address, among other things, how non-residents can obtain medical cannabis cards to make purchases from dispensaries.
Additionally, rules governing medical practitioners now include restrictions on advertising services. The use of slang terms such as “pot,” “weed,” “dope,” or “grass,” as well as any images of marijuana or smoking paraphernalia, is prohibited. Advertising on various platforms, including radio stations, television stations, newspapers, internet pop-up ads, social media, mass texts or emails, and adopt-a-highway signs or electronic interstate signs, is also prohibited.
Furthermore, the updated regulations encompass extensive requirements for business licensing, background checks, work permits, business record-keeping, product testing and safety, cannabis product packaging, transportation, and more.
As of the current status of Mississippi’s medical cannabis program, there are 370 licensed medical cannabis businesses, comprising 194 dispensaries, 121 cultivators, 24 transporters, 20 processors, six disposal entities, and five testing labs, according to the state medical cannabis program’s website.