The cultivation of cannabis only for medical use is legal in Hinds County by virtue of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act signed into law in February 2022. The law, however, allows counties and municipalities to opt out of having cannabis businesses within their territories. In Hinds County, the City of Clinton opted out in April 2022.
To grow cannabis legally, a company must first register with the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office before applying for a medical cannabis cultivator license from the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program (MMCP) under the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). All licensed medical cannabis businesses, including licensed cultivators, must use the MMCP’s Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance (Metrc) seed-to-sale inventory platform and its other systems for all of their operations.
The MMCP prohibits any licensed medical cannabis cultivation facility from being 1,000 feet or less from the nearest boundary of an existing church, school, childcare facility, or any property that has already been previously earmarked for such uses. The exception is if the licensed medical cannabis cultivation facility has been approved by the church, school, or childcare facility and acquired a waiver from the MMCP. Even then, the main entrance of the licensed medical cannabis cultivation facility must be 500 feet or more away from the nearest boundary of a church, school, or childcare facility. Any licensed medical cannabis cultivation facility must also comply with the zoning requirements of the municipality it is in.
A licensed medical cannabis cultivation facility must be indoors and not visible to the public. Outdoor cultivation is forbidden. The facility must be completely enclosed and secured with commercial-grade locks and a 24-hour security and alarm system year-round that works even during power outages to prevent unauthorized entry and theft. Signs must indicate that individuals below the age of 21 are not allowed to enter and that the entire premises are under continuous video surveillance. The facility must keep a daily log of individuals entering and leaving the premises.
Licensed micro-cultivators must pay the following non-refundable fees:
|Annual License Fee
|1,000 square feet maximum
Licensed cultivators must pay the following non-refundable fees:
|Annual License Fee
|100,000 square feet or more
The manufacturing of cannabis strictly for medical use only is legal in Hinds County in accordance with the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act. The City of Clinton, however, opted out of allowing medical cannabis manufacturing businesses within its territory.
To legally manufacture cannabis, a business must be registered register with the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office prior to filing an application for a medical cannabis processor license from the MMCP of the MSDH. For all of their operational activities, licensed medical cannabis manufacturers must use the seed-to-sale inventory tracking system and other systems of the MMCP's Metrc.
Any licensed medical cannabis manufacturing facility is prohibited from being within 1,000 feet of the closest border of a church, school, childcare facility, or any property that has already been designated for such uses. The licensed medical cannabis manufacturing plant is exempt if it has been permitted by the church, school, or daycare institution and has obtained a waiver from the MMCP. Even so, the licensed medical cannabis manufacturing company's main entrance must be 500 feet or more beyond the closest perimeter of a church, school, or childcare facility. The licensed medical cannabis manufacturing facility is also required to abide by the zoning regulations of the municipality where it is located.
Any registered medical cannabis manufacturing facility is required to be located indoors and out of sight of the general public. To prevent unauthorized entry and theft, the facility must be securely fenced in and protected with commercial-grade locks. It must have a security and alarm system that works 24 hours a day all year round even during power failures. Prominent signage must announce that p Persons under the age of 21 are not permitted to enter and that the whole site is subject to constant camera surveillance. The business must keep a daily record of who enters and exits the premises.
Licensed micro-processors must pay the following non-refundable fees:
|Annual Processing Volume
|Annual License Fee
|Less than 2,000 lbs. dried biomass
|2,000 to <3,000 lbs.
Licensed processors must pay the following non-refundable fees:
|Annual Processing Volume
|Annual License Fee
|3,000 lbs. dried biomass minimum
The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act legalized the retail sale of medical cannabis only by licensed dispensaries to registered patients who hold the medical cannabis identification card of the MMCP. However, the cities of Clinton and Raymond opted out of having medical cannabis dispensaries within their boundaries.
To obtain a medical cannabis dispensary license, companies must apply to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Division (ABC) under the Mississippi Department of Revenue (DOR). There is a $15,000.00 application fee and an annual license fee of $25,000.00.
Any licensed medical cannabis dispensary must be not less than 1,000 feet away from the nearest perimeter of a church, school, childcare facility, or other property already allocated for such purposes. If a licensed medical cannabis dispensary is approved by a church, school, or daycare institution and has secured a waiver from the MMCP, it is exempt from this rule. Still, the main door of a licensed medical cannabis dispensary must be no less than 500 feet from the nearest perimeter of a church, school, or childcare facility.
Furthermore, the main entrance of any licensed medical cannabis dispensary is required to be more than 1,500 feet from the main entrance of another licensed medical cannabis dispensary. Also, the licensed medical cannabis dispensary must follow the local municipality's zoning restrictions.
Every licensed medical cannabis dispensary must prominently display exterior signage with the name of the business and its license number. In the sales area, a copy of the dispensary license must be displayed.
The licensed medical cannabis dispensary must be enclosed, with all cannabis and cannabis products kept out of sight of the public. It must not share an entrance or exit with any other business nor have any connecting door to any other business. The dispensary must be kept secure with commercial-grade locks and a round-the-clock security system with alarms that uses continuous video surveillance. No one under the age of 21 must be allowed to enter, except for medical marijuana cardholders accompanied by their legal guardian or registered caregiver.
Within the dispensary, there must be a physical barrier that enables only dispensary staff to access the cannabis and cannabis products. Patients are not allowed to handle cannabis and cannabis products without the supervision of the staff.
A licensed medical cannabis dispensary is allowed to sell to registered patients or their caregivers the following:
cannabis flowers or trim that contain a maximum of 30% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in total
cannabis concentrates, tinctures or oils with a maximum of 60% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in total
Edible cannabis products with a maximum of 60% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in total
Medical cannabis equipment such as grinders, rolling machines, bongs, and pipes, among others
Medical cannabis supplies such as bags, glass jars, rolling papers, rolling trays, and similar items
The staff of the licensed medical cannabis dispensary must first scan the medical marijuana card of the patient or registered caregiver to verify identity as well as the previous purchases of the patient. This is necessary to ensure that the sale does not exceed the approved Mississippi Medical Cannabis Equivalency Unit (MMCEU) for the particular patient. The dispensary staff must also check for any restrictions documented on the registry for the specific patient.
One unit of the MMCEU is equivalent to any of the following:
3.5 grams of cannabis flower
1 gram of cannabis concentrate
100 milligrams of THC contained in an infused product
Within a week, from Monday morning to Sunday night, a patient is only allowed to purchase a maximum of 6 MMCEUs in total from any number of dispensaries. There is also a limit of 24 MMCEUs in total for the previous 29 days up to the date of purchase for every resident medical marijuana cardholder. This decreases to 12 MMCEUs in total for the previous 14 days up to the date of purchase for every non-resident medical marijuana cardholder. If the registry indicates that a particular patient is allowed less than these limits, it is the responsibility of the licensed medical cannabis dispensary to ensure compliance.
Delivery of medical cannabis by licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to patients is prohibited by the ABC under the DOR. Drive-through windows and curbside pickups are likewise prohibited.
The only type of delivery allowed by law is the transport of medical cannabis between licensed medical cannabis businesses by a medical cannabis transportation entity licensed by the MMCP.
A resident or a non-resident of Hinds County can apply for a medical marijuana card in two separate processes.
Hinds County residents must be examined by one of the following health practitioners registered with the MMCP:
Physician or physician assistant licensed by the MS State Board of Medical Licensure to prescribe medicine
Certified nurse practitioner licensed by the MS State Board of Nursing to prescribe medicine
Optometrist licensed by the MS State Board of Optometry to prescribe medicine
The health practitioner will register a certification online on the MMCP if the applicant is found to have any of the following qualifying medical conditions:
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
agitation of dementia
pain refractory to appropriate opioid management
disease or severe injury of the spinal cord
any chronic, debilitating, or terminal medical condition or treatment that causes any of the following:
cachexia or wasting syndrome
severe or persistent nausea
acute and intractable muscle spasms
Within 60 days of the issuance of the medical certification, the patient must register on the online portal of the MMCP and complete the application process. There is an initial nonrefundable application fee of $25.00. This is waived for veterans and first responders who are 100% disabled. It is lowered to $15.00 for Mississippi Medicaid beneficiaries.
Within five days, the patient will receive a digital medical marijuana card that may be printed out. The validity of the card will be indicated by the certifying health practitioner, with a maximum of one year.
For patients who are minors, a designated caregiver must be registered who will purchase medical cannabis. A background check will be done before approval. There is an initial nonrefundable application fee of $25.00 and a nonrefundable criminal background check fee of $37.00.
Non-residents of Mississippi, or those who have been residing in the state for less than 45 days, can apply for a non-resident medical cannabis card if they hold a valid medical marijuana card from their state. The initial card is valid only for 15 days and may be renewed for another 15 days. There is an initial nonrefundable application fee of $75.00.
The following contact details may be used:
For registration inquiries: MSMedicalCannabis@msdh.ms.gov
For general MMCP inquiries: _MCRegistration@msdh.ms.gov _
Taxation of medical cannabis consists of an excise tax of 5% on the sale of licensed medical cannabis cultivators to other licensed medical cannabis businesses, and a sales tax of 7% on the sale of licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to registered patients.
According to the DOR, licensed medical cannabis dispensaries in the city of Jackson in Hinds County must also pay a tax levy as specified by the city. The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act allows municipalities to impose on cannabis businesses the same taxes and fees they impose on other businesses.
Medical cannabis was legalized only in 2022. According to information from the Hinds County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer page, in 2020, there were 15 arrests for drug manufacturing or sales, of which 14 were for marijuana.