Mississippi Medical Marijuana

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What is Medical Marijuana in Mississippi?

Unfortunately, the Mississippi State Department of Health has stopped the development of the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Program. A patient suffering from debilitating health conditions cannot use medical marijuana to alleviate the associated symptoms. Being recommended for medical marijuana use means the patient may benefit from the active ingredient of medical cannabis. That is, cannabidiol and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may play a significant role in alleviating some of the associated symptoms of such health conditions. The written certification must show the patient is suffering from any qualifying medical conditions under the Act.

Initiative 65, which established an amendment for the use of medical marijuana in Mississippi, has been invalidated by the Mississippi Supreme Court. The Mississippi Supreme Court handed down its verdict in the City of Madison's challenge to Initiative 65, Mary Hawkins Butler v. Michael Watson, 2020-IA-01199-SCT.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Mississippi?

Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Mississippi. On November 3, 2020, Mississippi voters approved a citizen initiative called Measure 65, which legalized medical marijuana in the state. On February 2, 2022, Senate Bill 2095 (the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act) was signed into law by Governor Tate Reeves as a follow-up to Measure 65. Per Senate Bill 2095, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is responsible for overseeing the Mississippi medical cannabis program and registering patients with qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana treatment.

Who Can Get Medical Marijuana in Mississippi?

Registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers in Mississippi may legally purchase cannabis products from medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. For a person to qualify for medical marijuana treatment in Mississippi, they must be diagnosed with a severe medical condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner. According to Senate Bill 2095, the following medical conditions may qualify a person for medical marijuana treatment in Mississippi:

  • Cancer
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Huntington's disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Glaucoma
  • Spstic quadriplegia
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Autism
  • Pain resistant to opioid management
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Cachexia
  • Chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana in Mississippi?

The provisions of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act do not permit medical marijuana patients or caregivers to grow cannabis plants at home. Only licensed cannabis cultivation facilities in the state may legally cultivate marijuana plants for the manufacture of cannabis products for medical use.

Do You Need to See a Doctor to Get Medical Marijuana in Mississippi?

Before applying for a medical marijuana card under the Mississippi medical cannabis program, a person must see a medical practitioner licensed to practice in the state. The medical practitioner will evaluate the patient to know if they are suffering from a medical condition that qualifies them for medical marijuana treatment. A medical practitioner may recommend medical marijuana based on their professional opinion and issue the patient with written certification for medical marijuana treatment. The kinds of medical practitioners who are allowed to issue written certifications for medical marijuana treatment in Mississippi are:

  • Physicians
  • Certified nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Optometrists

Medical practitioners must be registered with the Mississippi medical cannabis program before they can recommend marijuana therapy for patients. Nevertheless, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) does not provide a registry of approved medical practitioners participating in the state's medical marijuana program.

Can a Minor Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, a person under the age of 18 that was diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition can use medical cannabis if their medical practitioner recommends it. Physicians are the only kinds of medical practitioners allowed to recommend medical marijuana treatment for minors in Mississippi. According to Senate Bill 2095, a qualified physician must explain the potential benefits and risks of medical marijuana to a minor's parent or legal guardian before certifying them for medical marijuana treatment. Also, the minor's parent or legal guardian must provide a written note that:

  • Acknowledges the potential harms of medical marijuana treatment
  • Permits their ward to use medical cannabis
  • Acknowledges their role as a medical cannabis caregiver to control the patient's purchase and use of medical cannabis products

How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Mississippi

In line with Senate Bill 2095, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) issues medical marijuana registry identification cards to patients registered under the state's medical cannabis program. To apply for a medical marijuana identification card in Mississippi, a person must obtain a certification for medical marijuana treatment from a qualified medical practitioner. A patient with a medical marijuana certification is required to apply for their medical marijuana identification card through the Mississippi medical cannabis program online portal within 60 days of receiving their certification.

As stipulated in the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, the MSDOH will approve or deny a medical marijuana registry identification card application within 30 days and notify the applicant of their decision. Successful applicants will immediately receive electronic copies of their medical marijuana identification cards via email. They will get physical copies of their medical marijuana identification cards within 5 days of getting approval notifications.

Does Mississippi Allow Medical Marijuana Patients to Designate Caregivers?

Medical marijuana patients in Mississippi are allowed to designate caregivers for themselves. According to the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, a designated caregiver is a person who assists one or more registered medical marijuana patients with the acquisition, administration, and use of marijuana products. Medical marijuana caregivers in Mississippi are required to apply for caregiver identification cards under the state's medical cannabis program. To qualify as a caregiver, a person must be 21 years or older and have no prior conviction for violent crimes. The state does not assign caregivers to qualifying patients. Each caregiver is allowed to manage a maximum of five medical marijuana patients at once.

What Is the Cost of a Mississippi Medical Marijuana Card?

As stipulated in Senate Bill 2095, medical marijuana patients in Mississippi are required to pay a $25 application fee for registry identification cards under the state's medical cannabis program. Payments are made online using debit or credit cards. Medical cannabis identification cards in Mississippi require renewal after one year, and cardholders are required to pay $25 for their card renewals. Also, caregivers are required to pay a $25 application fee when applying for medical marijuana caregiver cards under the Mississippi medical cannabis program.

According to the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, Medicaid participants applying for medical marijuana registry identification cards under the state's medical cannabis program qualify for a reduced fee and only have to pay a $15 application fee. Also, Senate Bill 2059 waives the medical cannabis identification card application fees for disabled veterans and disabled first responders. Persons qualifying for fee waivers must provide documentation from the social security disability benefits office or any other document that proves that they are disabled or receiving financial aid.

What Do You Need When Visiting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Mississippi?

When visiting a medical marijuana dispensary in Mississippi, a registered medical cannabis patient should bring their medical cannabis identification card and valid government-issued photo identification. Dispensaries usually check the Mississippi medical cannabis registry database to confirm the identities and registrations of medical cannabis patients before dispensing cannabis products to them.

How to Renew Your Mississippi Medical Marijuana Card

Registered medical cannabis patients in Mississippi may renew their identification cards online through the Mississippi medical marijuana program portal. Before renewing their cannabis registry identification card online, a medical marijuana patient must visit a qualified medical practitioner to obtain another written approval for medical marijuana treatment. A qualified medical practitioner may issue a renewal applicant with a medical cannabis certification if they consider medical marijuana treatment to still be beneficial to the patient based on their medical opinion. Per Senate Bill 2095, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) will approve or deny a medical marijuana registry identification card renewal application within 30 days and inform the applicant of their decision. A successful applicant will receive their new card via mail within 5 days of getting the identification card application renewal notification.

Is it Possible to Overdose on Cannabis in Mississippi?

Yes, even though a Supreme Court decision has invalidated the use of cannabis, an individual can still overdose when recreationally used. Even though overdosing on marijuana will not be fatal to its user, it does have side effects. The user may experience some of the following side effects if they overdose:

  • Chronic bronchitis.
  • Increased risk of lung infection.
  • High levels of anxiety
  • Panic attack
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Daily cough and phlegm production.
  • Frequent lung illness.
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diminishing the user's ability to reason.
  • Short-term memory.
  • Poor coordination
  • Difficulty conversing
  • Marijuana Induced Psychosis (MIP).

The particular amount of marijuana that may cause an overdose is relative. The reaction to marijuana depends on the person that takes it.

If I am Pregnant, Can I Use Cannabis to Relieve Nausea in Mississippi?

No, a pregnant woman should never use marijuana to alleviate pregnancy symptoms, especially nausea. Apart from the fact that there is no law protecting the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is not healthy to use it. According to the Center for Disease Control, the active chemicals in marijuana, primarily THC, can harm both the pregnant woman and the child. When a pregnant woman uses marijuana, they put the unborn child at risk because the chemical in the marijuana will pass through the placenta to the unborn child. These chemicals can easily pass to the child's brain and affect its development. The following are the possible side effects of using marijuana while pregnant:

  • Premature birth
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Low birthweight.
  • Short body length or small head size.
  • Anencephaly is a severe Neural Tube Defect (NTD) that affects brain and spine development.
  • Anemia (shortage of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout their body)
  • Poor brain development.
  • Stillbirth.

These problems persist even after the child's birth, and the baby may end up in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The child is also susceptible to:

  • Withdrawal symptoms, like seizures, tremors, nausea, vomiting, or slow weight gain. Although they go away within the first two weeks after birth
  • Suffer from insomnia
  • Problems with behavior and memory

For further information on how best to deal with pregnancy symptoms, pregnant women can consult with their OB/GYN.

Mississippi Medical Marijuana