Only cannabis for medical use can be cultivated legally in Harrison County by virtue of the State of Mississippi’s Medical Cannabis Act of February 2022. Counties and their municipalities are, however, permitted by the Act to opt out of accepting medical cannabis businesses within their jurisdictions.
Harrison County did not opt out of medical cannabis businesses for its unincorporated areas. However, the cities of D'Iberville and Pass Christian opted out of medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and retail operations.
For businesses to commercially cultivate medical cannabis in Harrison County, registration with the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office is required prior to applying to the Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program (MMCP) for a medical cannabis cultivator license.
The following are the types of medical cannabis cultivation licenses and their respective fees:
|License Type||Cannabis Canopy Size Allowed||Application Fee||Annual License Fee|
|Tier I micro-cultivator license||Up to 1,000 square feet||$1,500||$2,000|
|Tier II micro-cultivator license||1,0001-2,000 square feet||$2,500||$3,500|
|Tier I cultivator license||2,001-5,000 square feet||$5,0000||$15,000|
|Tier II cultivator license||5,001-15,000 square feet||$10,000||$25,000|
|Tier III cultivator license||15,001-30,000 square feet||$20,000||$50,000|
|Tier IV cultivator license||30,001-60,000 square feet||$30,000||$75,000|
|Tier V cultivator license||60,001-100,000 square feet||$40,000||$100,000|
|Tier VI cultivator license||Over 100,000 square feet||$60,000||$150,000|
A licensed medical cannabis growing facility is prohibited from being less than 1,000 feet from a daycare center, school, church, or property already intended to be used for such unless the institution has agreed and the MCCP has issued a waiver. Even with a waiver, the cultivation facility’s main entrance must still be not less than 500 feet away from any of these institutions. The municipality’s zoning regulations must also be complied with by any licensed medical cannabis cultivation facility.
Medical cannabis cultivation outdoors is prohibited. All licensed medical cannabis cultivator facilities must be hidden from public view by being fully fenced. They must employ commercial-grade locking systems. A security system armed with alarms must be operational around the clock even when there is a power outage. Prominent signs must warn that the property is under full video surveillance all the time and that persons younger than 21 years old are barred from entry. Everyone must log in and out.
The Metrc seed-to-sale inventory tracking system of the MMCP must be used by all licensed medical cannabis businesses, including licensed medical cannabis cultivators.
Only medical cannabis products can be manufactured legally in Harrison County as mandated by Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, except in the cities that chose to opt out of it. For businesses to commercially manufacture medical cannabis in Harrison County, they must apply for a medical cannabis processor license from the MMCP after registering with the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office. If the company also intends to manufacture cannabis-infused edible products, it must, in addition, apply for a manufactured food permit from the MSDH.
The following are the types of medical cannabis processor licenses and their respective fees:
|License Type||Yearly Manufacturing Volume Allowed||Application Fee||Annual License Fee|
|Tier I micro-processor license||Less than 2,000 lbs. of dried biomass||$2,000||$3,500|
|Tier II micro-processor license||2,000 lbs. to less than 3,000 lbs. of dried biomass||$2,500||$5,000|
|Tier I processor license||3,000 lbs. or more of dried biomass||$15,0000||$20,000|
Like licensed medical cannabis cultivators, licensed medical cannabis manufacturers must use the MMCP Metrc seed-to-sale inventory tracking system. It must also be located in a zone approved by the municipality for such use and at least 1,000 feet from a church, school, or daycare establishment. If an MMCP waiver is issued for this, the facility’s main entrance must still be at least 500 feet away.
All licensed medical cannabis processing facilities must be indoors, not visible to the public, enclosed completely with fences, and locked with commercial-grade devices. A security system with alarms must be working 24 hours daily even when power is out. Clear signage must announce the presence of continuous video surveillance over the site, and that entry of people below the age of 21 is prohibited. The entry and exit of every person must be logged.
Only medical cannabis and medical cannabis products can be legally sold by retail in Harrison County as stipulated by the Medical Cannabis Act of the State of Mississippi. However, no medical cannabis dispensaries are allowed in the cities that opted out of having these.
In municipalities that opted in, medical cannabis retail businesses must first apply for a medical cannabis dispensary license from the Mississippi Department of Revenue’s (DOR) Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Division (ABC) and comply with its relevant regulations. The application fee is $15,000 and the yearly license fee is $25,000.
All licensed medical cannabis retailers must comply with the same requirements for location, public visibility, security, signage, and inventory tracking as licensed medical cannabis cultivators and manufacturers. In addition, it must have a sign outside with the facility’s business name and license number. A clear copy of the medical cannabis dispensary’s license must stay on display within the shop.
The licensed medical cannabis dispensary is not allowed to have shared entrances or exits with other businesses. There must also be no door connecting it to any other business. Only medical marijuana cardholders and facility personnel are to be allowed entry.
The dispensary must install a barrier within the shop to ensure that medical marijuana cardholders have no access to cannabis and cannabis products. They may only handle these under the supervision of dispensary personnel.
Only the following may be sold by licensed medical cannabis retailers, and only to medical marijuana cardholders:
Medical cannabis trim and flowers containing not more than 30% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Medical cannabis oils, tinctures, and concentrates containing not more than 60% THC
Medical cannabis-infused edible products containing not more than 60% THC
Medical cannabis accessories like rolling trays, rolling papers, glass jars, and bags, among others
Medical cannabis devices like pipes, bongs, grinders, and rolling machines, among others
The licensed medical cannabis dispensary personnel must ask for the medical marijuana card of the patient or caregiver and scan it to check against the MMCP’s online registry. This will also show the dispensary staff any restrictions on the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Equivalency Units (MMCEU) that the patient is allowed to purchase. The licensed dispensary is accountable for ensuring that every medical marijuana cardholder stays compliant.
For each MMCEU unit, the medical marijuana cardholder may purchase one of the following:
Medical cannabis flower: 3.5 grams
Medical cannabis concentrate: 1 gram
Medical cannabis-infused product: 100 milligrams of THC content
For every 7-day period from Monday to Sunday, a registered patient may purchase only up to six MMCEUs. However, the patient may not exceed 24 MMCEUs in the immediate 30-day period ending on the day of purchase.
Non-resident medical marijuana cardholders are only allowed to purchase 12 MMCEUs for every 14-day period ending on the day of purchase.
Licensed medical cannabis dispensaries are not allowed to sell medical cannabis via drive-through windows or for curbside pickup.
It is prohibited to deliver medical cannabis and medical cannabis products even to medical marijuana cardholders in Harrison County in accordance with the rules of the DOR’s ABC. All purchases by medical marijuana cardholders must be done in person inside the licensed dispensary.
The only legal delivery of medical cannabis in Harrison County is from one licensed medical cannabis business to another, carried by an MMCP-licensed medical cannabis transporter.
In Harrison County, both residents and non-residents may apply for the State of Mississippi’s medical marijuana card.
Those who are not residents of Mississippi, or who have lived in the state for fewer than 45 days, must be holders of a valid medical marijuana card from their state of origin to be eligible to apply for a Mississippi non-resident medical marijuana card. They must pay a $75 non-refundable fee. The non-resident medical marijuana card is valid for only 15 days but may be renewed.
Mississippi residents are required to undergo a medical examination by any of these MMCP-registered health practitioners licensed to prescribe medication:
MS State Board of Medical Licensure physician
MS State Board of Medical Licensure physician’s assistant
MS State Board of Optometry optometrist
MS State Board of Nursing certified nurse practitioner
If the patient is diagnosed with any of the listed qualifying medical conditions that follow, a certification will be posted by the health practitioner on the MCCP’s online registry:
Spinal cord disease or severe injury
Pain unresponsive to opioid treatment
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
A terminal, debilitating, or chronic illness causing one of the following:
Acute and intractable muscle spasms
Severe or persistent nausea
Cachexia or wasting syndrome
The patient must complete the application by registering online at the MMCP portal not more than 60 days after getting the certification. The nonrefundable application fee is $25. Beneficiaries of Mississippi Medicaid, however, pay only $15 while completely disabled first responders and veterans are exempted from paying.
Patients who are minors or who need assistance may designate a caregiver who will also have to register online. The nonrefundable application fee is also $25 plus a $37 fee for the required background check.
If the application is approved, the patient and caregiver will receive a medical marijuana card online on the registry, for printing. The validity period will be based on the certifying health practitioner’s recommendation, but will not exceed one year. It is renewable.
More information may be requested from the following:
Registration queries: MSMedicalCannabis@msdh.ms.gov
General MMCP queries: MCRegistration@msdh.ms.gov
The following taxes are levied on medical cannabis sales in Harrison County and the State of Mississippi:
5% excise tax on each first medical cannabis sale of licensed cultivators to other licensed medical cannabis businesses
7% sales tax on medical cannabis sales of licensed dispensaries to medical marijuana cardholders, charged to the purchasers
Licensed medical cannabis businesses are likewise subject to income tax and withholding tax.
Furthermore, municipalities that allow licensed medical cannabis businesses are permitted by the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act to charge the same local fees and taxes also charged to other types of businesses within their jurisdiction.
Medical cannabis was legalized in 2022 in Harrison County.
Data from the Harrison County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Explorer page shows that a year before medical cannabis legalization, in 2021, there were 94 marijuana offense arrests, with 85 for possession and nine for manufacturing or sales.
There were 185 DUI arrests in 2021.