- Mississippi just voted to legalize medical cannabis, per the Associated Press.
- The initiative allows doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients with qualifying conditions.
- Mississippi is one of the first deeply conservative states to legalize medical marijuana, marking shifting attitudes towards the drug in the US. Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas also have medical marijuana programs.
- The program will be headed by the Mississippi State Department of Health, which will have until August 15, 2021 to issue medical marijuana cards.
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Mississippi became one of two new states to legalize medical cannabis in Tuesday’s elections, after voters passed a ballot initiative to allow doctors to recommend cannabis to patients with some conditions.
The measure, Initiative 65, beat out an alternative measure proposed by the state legislature that was more restrictive, the Associated Press reported.
Four other states, ranging from New Jersey to South Dakota, also voted in favor of legalizing cannabis for recreational or medical use, AP reported.
In Mississippi, Initiative 65 lays out more than 20 qualifying conditions for which a patient can receive a recommendation from healthcare professionals to get medical cannabis.
The other state to pass a medical cannabis program, South Dakota, also voted to legalize recreational marijuana.
Mississippi’s new program will be headed by the Mississippi State Department of Health. The agency has until August 15, 2021 to issue medical marijuana cards. The measure would allow for the cultivation and sale of medical cannabis in the state.
Qualifying Mississippians will be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at one time if they receive a recommendation from a doctor. The state will tax medical cannabis sales at a rate of 7%, on par with the current states sales tax rate. Annual sales could hit $800 million by 2024, per Marijuana Business Daily.
Read the ballot measure directly here.