Gov. Tate Reeves reacts to Miss. House, Senate passing medical marijuana bill

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2021 file photo, Gov. Tate Reeves responds to a reporter's question...
FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2021 file photo, Gov. Tate Reeves responds to a reporter's question during a news briefing regarding Mississippi's COVID-19 response in Jackson, Miss. Reeves says he's working with legislative leaders on details about how the state will pay for a proposed medical marijuana program. The Republican governor said Wednesday, Sept. 29, that he will call lawmakers to the Capitol for a special session “sooner rather than later." (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 4:25 PM CST
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HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Medical marijuana is one step closer to being legalized in Mississippi after both the House of Representatives and Senate passed the bill.

With the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act now approved by both houses, the bill will now head to the desk of Gov. Tate Reeves.

WLOX News Now spoke to the governor just after the legislature approved the bill to get his reaction.

“I’m very pleased that we got to see so much progress made in improving the bill over the last six months. We worked hard to reduce the overall amount of marijuana in the bill, and to the legislature’s credit, they made a lot of progress there. It initially started at 5 ounces, it’s down to 3, so a 40% decline in the total amount of marijuana any individual can get in one year. They also ensured to protect young people if you’re under 25 you’ll need a physician that approves the allowance of a marijuana card,” he said.

Reeves will have five days from the day he gets the bill, not including Sunday, to either sign the bill, veto it, or let it pass without his signature.

“We’ll get the bill, go through the regular review process and we’ll make a decision on what we’re going to do with it in the next five working days because that’s what the constitution calls for,” Reeves added.

When asked if he planned to sign the bill, after the governor had expressed concern previously with the amount of marijuana the bill would allow, Reeves told WLOX he plans to make a final decision soon.

“It was said on the floor of the Senate a couple of weeks ago, this is the 46th version of the bill,” he said. “My team has been working with the legislature on this for almost six months now since the Supreme Court acted in early summer of last year. Every change they made, they were moving it more in the direction of what we could get comfortable with. The bill is thick, and so we’re going to have lawyers read through it over the next few days and we’ll make a decision by early next week.”

In 2020, more than 74% of Mississippi voters approved Initiative 65, which allowed patients to purchase up to five ounces of medical marijuana every month.

The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned it months later.

In September 2021, a program was approved by both the House and Senate--a bill the governor never had any intention of signing.

“We’re going to look at it, but we’re very pleased with the direction that the legislature headed in making improvements,” he said.

To read the latest version of the bill, CLICK HERE.

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