Licensed cannabis cultivation for medical use only in DeSoto County is legal under the State of Mississippi’s Medical Cannabis Act of February 2022. The Act, however, allows any county or municipality to opt out of having any medical cannabis business within their jurisdiction. The DeSoto County Medical Cannabis Ordinance allows medical cannabis businesses, including medical cannabis cultivation facilities, subject to local licensing and requirements such as those of the DeSoto County Zoning Ordinance.
According to the DeSoto County Medical Cannabis Regulations, all types of medical cannabis businesses, including medical cannabis cultivation businesses, must send to the county all documents they send to the State of Mississippi, including those for business applications, licensing, reports, and notices. After getting a state license, they must obtain a business privilege license from the DeSoto County Tax Collector and a business permit from the DeSoto County Planning Department. There is an application fee of $1,000 and an annual renewal fee of $500. Applicants must submit a site plan that includes water, ventilation, odor control, lighting control, security, and waste management. All medical cannabis businesses are subject to inspections by the county annually with a one-day prior notice.
To get the state medical cannabis cultivator license, the applicant must first register with the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office and then apply to the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program (MMCP) of the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). There are two types of micro-cultivator licenses and six types of cultivator licenses, as follows:
|License Type||Allowed Cannabis Canopy Size||Application Fee||Annual License Fee|
|Tier I micro-cultivator license||Maximum of 1,000 square feet||$1,500||$2,000|
|Tier II micro-cultivator license||1,0001-2,000 square feet||
|Tier I cultivator license||2,001-5,000 square feet||
|Tier II cultivator license||5,001-15,000 square feet||
|Tier III cultivator license||15,001-30,000 square feet||
|Tier IV cultivator license||30,001-60,000 square feet||
|Tier V cultivator license||60,001-100,000 square feet||
|Tier VI cultivator license||More than 100,000 square feet||$60,000||$150,000|
The state’s Medical Cannabis Act requires that, in addition to complying with the local zoning ordinance, a medical cannabis cultivation facility must also be 1,000 feet or more away from a church, school, daycare establishment, or location already earmarked for any of these uses. If the affected institution and the MMCP issue a waiver, the distance may be decreased to 500 feet.
Medical cannabis cultivation is only allowed indoors, with the facility fully fenced and shielded from the sight of the public. Gates must use commercial-grade locks. The security system with alarms and video surveillance must be operational continuously year-round and must withstand power outages. Warning signs on camera surveillance and the prohibition of the entry of individuals below 21 years old must be posted prominently. All persons entering and leaving the facility must be logged. Licensed medical cannabis cultivators and all other medical cannabis businesses must use the MMCP’s Metrc seed-to-sale inventory tracking system.
In DeSoto County, licensed medical cannabis cultivation facilities are only allowed to operate between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. in agricultural district zones, Monday to Sunday. They can operate around the clock in light and heavy industrial district zones.
Licensed medical cannabis product manufacturing in DeSoto County is legal under the State of Mississippi’s Medical Cannabis Act, the DeSoto County Medical Cannabis Ordinance, and the DeSoto County Zoning Ordinance. Any medical cannabis manufacturing business must abide by all of the DeSoto County Medical Cannabis Regulations previously discussed.
To get the state medical cannabis processor license, the applicant must register with the Mississippi Secretary of
State's Office and apply to the MMCP. Additionally, a manufactured food permit is needed from the MSDH if the medical cannabis manufacturer intends to process edible medical cannabis products.
There are two types of micro-processor licenses and one type of cultivator license, as follows:
|License Type||Allowed Annual Manufacturing Volume||Application Fee||Annual License Fee|
|Tier I micro-processor license||Lower than 2,000 lbs. of dried biomass||$2,000||$3,500|
|Tier II micro-processor license||2,000 lbs. to lower than 3,000 lbs. of dried biomass||
|Tier I processor license||3,000 lbs. or more of dried biomass||$15,0000||$20,000|
All the requirements of the state’s Medical Cannabis Act regarding site restrictions, indoor operations, public visibility, security, and inventory tracking that apply to licensed medical cannabis cultivators also apply to licensed medical cannabis manufacturers. Moreover,
In DeSoto County, licensed medical cannabis manufacturing facilities are only allowed to operate between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. throughout the week in agricultural district zones. They can operate for 24 hours in light and heavy industrial district zones.
The licensed retail selling of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to medical cannabis cardholders in DeSoto County is legal under the Medical Cannabis Act of the State of Mississippi and the county’s Medical Cannabis Ordinance and Zoning Ordinance. All medical cannabis dispensaries must comply with the previously mentioned DeSoto County Medical Cannabis Regulations.
To get the state medical cannabis dispensary license, the applicant must apply to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Division (ABC) of the Mississippi Department of Revenue (DOR), subject to its applicable regulations. There is a $15,000 and a $25,000 annual license fee.
All of the state’s Medical Cannabis Act requirements with regard to location limitations, indoor operations, public visibility, security, and inventory tracking that are applicable to licensed medical cannabis cultivators and manufacturers are also applicable to licensed medical cannabis dispensaries.
Furthermore, the licensed medical cannabis dispensary’s business name and license number must be displayed outside, and its license must be displayed inside the facility. It cannot share any entrance or exit with another business, or have a connecting door to another business. Entry is restricted to the licensed dispensary’s personnel and medical cannabis cardholders. Curbside pickups and drive-through purchases are not permitted. Inside the facility, a physical barrier must stop medical cannabis cardholders from having access to medical cannabis and medical cannabis products without the supervision of the licensed dispensary’s staff.
Licensed medical cannabis dispensaries are allowed to sell to medical cannabis cardholders only the following:
A maximum of 30% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in medical cannabis flowers and trims
A maximum of 60% THC content in medical cannabis concentrates, tinctures, and oils
A maximum of 60% THC content in edible medical cannabis products
Medical cannabis devices such as rolling machines, grinders, bongs, and pipes
Medical cannabis accessories such as rolling papers, rolling trays, bags, and glass jars
For every week, counted from Monday to Sunday, a medical cannabis cardholder who is a state resident is allowed to purchase a maximum of six Mississippi Medical Cannabis Equivalency Units (MMCEU), provided the patient does not go over 24 MMCEUs in the immediately preceding 30 days. Medical cannabis cardholders who are not state residents are allowed to purchase only a maximum of 12 MMCEUs every 14 days. An MMCEU unit is one of the following:
3.5 grams of medical cannabis flowers
1 gram of medical cannabis concentrate
100 milligrams of THC in medical cannabis products
The licensed medical cannabis dispensary personnel must first ask for the purchaser’s medical cannabis card and check this on the online MMCP registry. The registry will show whether the purchaser is within the MMCEU limits. It will also show if the specific purchaser has been given further restrictions in MMCEU purchases allowed.
In DeSoto County, licensed medical cannabis dispensaries are only allowed to operate in the neighborhood commercial district, highway commercial district, general commercial district, and planned business district from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the week.
It is illegal to deliver medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to medical cannabis cardholders in DeSoto County according to the ABC of the DOR. Medical cannabis cardholders are only allowed to purchase medical cannabis in person within licensed dispensary facilities. The delivery of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products in DeSoto County is only legal from one licensed medical cannabis business to another.
In DeSoto County, the State of Mississippi’s medical cannabis card may be applied for by residents and non-residents.
Non-residents of the state, or residents with shorter than 45 days of residency, are only qualified to apply if they already hold a valid medical cannabis card from their state or previous state of residence. The non-resident medical marijuana card costs $75 and is only valid for 15 days, after which it may be renewed.
Mississippi State residents must first be examined by one of the following MMCP-registered health practitioners who must also have a license for medication prescription by their respective state boards:
A physician assistant
A certified nurse practitioner
The health practitioner will post a certification for the patient on the online registry of the MMCP if the patient is diagnosed with any of the following medical conditions:
Spinal cord disease or severe injury
Pain unresponsive to opioid treatment
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
A terminal, chronic, or debilitating ailment that causes any of the following:
Acute and intractable muscle spasms
Cachexia or wasting syndrome
Severe or persistent nausea
Within 60 days of acquiring the physician’s certification, the patient must register online to finish the application on the MMCP portal and pay the non-refundable $25 fee. This is lowered to $15 for Mississippi Medicaid beneficiaries and waived completely for veterans and first responders who are completely disabled.
A caregiver must be designated for patients who are minors to purchase medical cannabis for them. Adult patients who require purchasing assistance may also designate a caregiver. The caregiver must go through the same online registration process and pay a non-refundable $25 fee with an additional background check fee of $37.
After approval, the medical cannabis card will appear on the online registry account of the patient or caregiver and may be printed from there. The validity period depends on the recommendation of the health practitioner, with a maximum of one year, after which it may be renewed.
Queries may be sent by email to the following:
Registration information: MSMedicalCannabis@msdh.ms.gov
General MMCP information: MCRegistration@msdh.ms.gov
According to the DOR, the following taxes apply to medical cannabis in the State of Mississippi:
A licensed medical cannabis cultivator must pay a 15% excise tax on its first sale of medical cannabis to another licensed medical cannabis facility
A licensed dispensary must charge a medical cannabis cardholder a 7% sales tax on every purchase of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products
In addition, all types of licensed medical cannabis businesses must pay the usual withholding tax and income tax. DeSoto County has no additional taxes imposed on medical cannabis and medical cannabis products.
Medical cannabis was legalized in 2022 in DeSoto County.
Data from the DeSoto County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Explorer page shows that in 2021, the year prior to medical cannabis legalization, there were 32 marijuana offense arrests, comprised of 25 arrests for possession and seven arrests for sales or manufacturing. There is no data yet for 2022.
There were 485 DUI arrests in the county in 2021.