Medical Cannabis Act passes MS Senate, heads for House

The Mississippi State Legislature is set to reconvene in January.
The Mississippi State Legislature is set to reconvene in January.(Source: WDAM)
Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 10:07 PM CST
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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - This past week, a historic step was taken for the potential of a medical cannabis program in the state of Mississippi.

The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act passed the state senate with an over whelming majority of 47-5.

“This is one of those rare occasions, I think, where the legislature listened to the people,” said State Senator Kevin Blackwell.

Blackwell, who represents DeSoto and Marshall Counties and is also the chief sponsor of the bill, passed around visual aids in his presentation on Thursday to show on-the-fence senators the amount of cannabis patients would be prescribed if they qualify for the program.

“...for them to actually see that, hold it in their hands, and be able to hold an ounce,” Blackwell said.

“(Blackwell) educated a lot of other people, and he’s put in hundreds of man hours to get this passed. My hats off to him,” said Zack Wilson, Vice President of We are the 74.

Medical cannabis advocates like Wilson, who’s worked close with Blackwell over the last several months, said the state is near the finish line for having a program and expect similar results in the House.

The final step would be acquiring Governor Tate Reeves’s signature, who’s had his reservations for the legislation.

Blackwell said modifications were made to “appease the Governor,” but in the end, if the bill passes the House, the Governor’s signature may only be a formality.

“If the governor vetoes it, and they send it back to the legislative floor, they’re going to override his veto,” Wilson said. “That’s the last thing any governor wants.”

“Hopefully, we can go forward and our patients will have access to this needed medicine,” Blackwell said.

With how much of a hot topic this issue is, Wilson expect the bill to be through the house and on the governor’s desk by the end of this week.

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