Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove discusses plans to open medical marijuana testing facility

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 8:00 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -It’s been less than a year since former Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove’s wife Melody died of leukemia.

“I watched her go through the pain that she did,” said Musgrove. “And she and I talked about it a number of times, because the the initiative process was underway. And she said, You know, that’s medical marijuana is something I would take instead of the opioids for the pain. And that is the first thing it started me thinking about it.”

Most of her treatments were taking place in 2021 when it was clear that one way or another the state would legalize it soon. So...

“It was something that we talked about,” Musgrove noted. “It was something that I felt like was absolutely needed and stayed. And I felt like that if we could make that happen. I wanted to be involved in it.”

With patient safety at the top of mind, Musgrove knew testing would be an important component. He’s joining up with Quentin Whitwell who’s involved with three rural hospitals in north Mississippi and Dr. Kenneth Williams who is located in Holly Springs. Together, their plan is to open Magnolia Tech Labs there in Holly Springs.

“It will be a freestanding facility,” he said. “It will have the modern toxicology, lab testing equipment. It will also probably employ about 15 people. It will have a lab director as required by the statute and a PhD person kind of managing or consulting in that regard.”

Beyond the personal a former governor, he views the industry as a win-win for the state.

“It gives Mississippi the chance to not be last again,” added Musgrove. “I mean, so many of us have been in office, so many of us who’ve lived in Mississippi get sick and tired of being the last on every good list there is. This is an opportunity for us to not be the first but it still be well ahead. And I think that’s better for the citizens of Mississippi.”

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