Mississippi ‘Not Quite Ready’ to Implement Medical Cannabis

Mississippi’s governor on Tuesday said he isn’t quite ready to call a special legislative session to implement the state’s new medical cannabis law

Tate Reeves, a first-term Republican, made it clear that he believes the special session will indeed happen––but not until a few outstanding matters are ironed out.

“I am confident we will have a special session of the Legislature if we get the specifics of a couple of items that are left outstanding,” Reeves said at a press conference, as quoted by Mississippi Today. “Again, we have made great progress working with our legislative leaders.”

Reeves’ announcement on Tuesday comes nearly three weeks after lawmakers in Mississippi had apparently struck a deal on legislation to implement the medical marijuana law. 

Mississippi Today reported at the time that “legislative negotiators and leaders” had come to an agreement on a draft of legislation for the new law, and that they “anticipated to ask” Reeves to call the legislature into a special session.”

As governor, Reeves has the lone authority to call a special legislative session. 

On Tuesday, Reeves outlined several areas of concern over the medical marijuana legislation. According to Mississippi Today, those concerns include the “level of THC dosages,” the “amount of marijuana that can be provided to people” and “who would be eligible to receive medical marijuana.”

The website noted that the governor’s “office has also been back and forth with lawmakers adding language to ensure that marijuana businesses cannot receive state economic development incentives or credits.”

The legislation that was drafted late last month by state lawmakers had “THC potency limits of 30 percent on flower, [and] 60 percent on concentrates and infused products,” while requiring “any product above 30 percent THC [to] have to have a warning label.” 

The bill also would impose the state’s seven percent sales tax on medical marijuana. 

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Mississippi Experiencing Frustrating Delays

Although Reeves maintained confidence that the special session would ultimately be held, the delay is likely another source of frustration for marijuana advocates in the state who have confronted significant hurdles since Mississippi voters approved medical cannabis at the ballot.

Last year, almost seven percent of voters in the state passed Initiative 65, which legalized medical cannabis treatment for patients suffering from a number of qualifying conditions, including cancer, epilepsy or other seizures, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cachexia (weakness and wasting due to chronic illness), post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV+, AIDS, chronic or debilitating pain, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, glaucoma, agitation from dementia, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, sickle-cell anemia and autism.

Under the passed ballot initiative, those qualifying patients could have as much as 2.5 ounces of medical pot.

But in May, the Mississippi Supreme Court struck down the initiative in a 6-3 ruling, declaring the measure unconstitutional on a technicality. 

The ruling prompted lawmakers in the state to prepare a new law to take the place of Initiative 65. Negotiations took place for much of the summer, with a draft finally being offered up to Reeves late last month.

That legislation barred personal cultivation for qualifying patients, while also including a provision permitting cities to opt out of the medical marijuana program.

“City councils or aldermen, or county boards of supervisors, within 90 days of passage of legislation, could opt out from allowing cultivation or dispensing of medical marijuana within their borders,” Mississippi Today reported at the time. Voters in those cities and counties could force a referendum to rejoin the medical marijuana program if they gathered 1,500 signatures or 20 percent of the voters, according to the report.

The post Mississippi ‘Not Quite Ready’ to Implement Medical Cannabis appeared first on High Times.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// DC Collects Extra 5,000 Signatures to Decriminalize Psychedelics During Protests (Merry Jane)

// Acreage pulls out of Iowa medical marijuana market (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Chart: Medical marijuana sales in Oklahoma near $300 million in first five months of 2020 (Marijuana Business Daily)


These headlines are brought to you by Natural Order Supply, one of the nation’s premier cannabis cultivation supply companies dedicated to streamlining cultivation and helping industrial hemp farmers calculate their price-per-plant cost. They have everything from lights to harvest supplies to cultivation advice!


// Massachusetts regulators developing cannabis product catalog (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Report: NBA won’t test players for marijuana in Disney World bubble (NBC Sports)

// Canada exported record amount of dried cannabis in 2019, but mostly to one market (Marijuana Business Daily)

// New USVI adult-use cannabis bill to go before Senate Friday (Vibe High)

// GOP Congressman Says Killing Of ‘Marijuana User’ George Floyd Doesn’t Deserve Protests (Marijuana Moment)

// Despite COVID, Cannabis Sales To Hit $20.4 Billion in 2020 (Green Market Report)

// Mississippi Lawmakers Take Steps To Distinguish Alternative Medical Marijuana Measure From Activist Version (Marijuana Moment)


Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Photo: Barnyz/Flickr

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// DC Collects Extra 5,000 Signatures to Decriminalize Psychedelics During Protests (Merry Jane)

// Acreage pulls out of Iowa medical marijuana market (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Chart: Medical marijuana sales in Oklahoma near $300 million in first five months of 2020 (Marijuana Business Daily)


These headlines are brought to you by Natural Order Supply, one of the nation’s premier cannabis cultivation supply companies dedicated to streamlining cultivation and helping industrial hemp farmers calculate their price-per-plant cost. They have everything from lights to harvest supplies to cultivation advice!


// Massachusetts regulators developing cannabis product catalog (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Report: NBA won’t test players for marijuana in Disney World bubble (NBC Sports)

// Canada exported record amount of dried cannabis in 2019, but mostly to one market (Marijuana Business Daily)

// New USVI adult-use cannabis bill to go before Senate Friday (Vibe High)

// GOP Congressman Says Killing Of ‘Marijuana User’ George Floyd Doesn’t Deserve Protests (Marijuana Moment)

// Despite COVID, Cannabis Sales To Hit $20.4 Billion in 2020 (Green Market Report)

// Mississippi Lawmakers Take Steps To Distinguish Alternative Medical Marijuana Measure From Activist Version (Marijuana Moment)


Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Barnyz/Flickr

Can We Blame Senate Republicans for Dispensary Robberies Now?

The effort to get banking access for legal cannabis businesses seems to have lost the wind in its sails for a moment, and while we wait for a new breeze in Congress, a wave of crime is targeting the legal cannabis industry’s fat stacks of cash.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen cannabis operators who police treated like criminals for 20 years being targeted by actual criminals. In December, one dispensary in San Diego County reported losing over $300,000 in cannabis products overnight. In Washington state, things have been getting so bad lately that the state removed the online map of cannabis permit holders out of fear that thieves were using it to find targets. There is an ongoing manhunt in Oklahoma for some dispensary parking lot stickup men, while another man was shot leaving an Oklahoma City dispensary on Dec. 31. Meanwhile, the suspect who robbed a Washington dispensary last Saturday is still at large. Keep in mind that these examples are merely a drop in the bucket of cannabis-related crime that has occurred in recent months.

So now that this cannabis crime wave is evident, who do we blame? Obviously, it’s worth blaming the people actually conducting the crimes, but who is creating the situation that allows them to prosper? There’s one easy answer: Senate Republicans, and namely, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell himself.

For years, state-legal cannabis dispensaries have been complaining that, due to federal prohibition, they’re forced to conduct business in cash. In 2019, it looked like Congress might finally fix the problem. In September, the House of Representatives passed the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow legal cannabis business to access federally backed banking services, with a vote of 321-103.

It was a huge moment for a bill that had failed to pass for the six previous years. The Hill even called it one of the top moments of the year for cannabis.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado, is one of the bill’s cosponsors. At the time, he said the SAFE Banking Act would “go a long way in getting cash off our streets and providing certainty so financial institutions can work with cannabis businesses and employees.”

Perlmutter also said he was looking forward to working with “Senate Banking Committee Chairman [Mike] Crapo, Ranking Member [Sherrod] Brown and the entire Senate as they take up this important issue.”

But that didn’t happen. The bill was dead on arrival, partially thanks to McConnell’s apparent oath to not hear debate on any cannabis legislation that doesn’t have anything to do with benefitting Kentucky hemp farmers.

We asked the experts about who is to blame over the rise of cannabis-related crime, and about what should be done to fix it.

The National Cannabis Industry Association’s Media Relations Director Morgan Fox told Cannabis Now that he thinks it is safe to say that lawmakers who delay passage of a workable cannabis banking bill must shoulder some of the responsibility for the ongoing public safety issues caused by lack of access to financial services.

But on the positive side, Fox did speak on the plan moving forward in the incremental steps that have been a hallmark of cannabis progress over the last two decades.

“We are hopeful that we can convince Sen. Crapo that the 2% THC cap he suggested is a non-starter and work with him and other Senate Republicans to pass legislation this year,” Fox said.

NORML’s Executive Director Erik Altieri, however, took a firmer stance.

“Any theft or injury that arises from cannabis businesses being forced to operate in a grey area is firmly on the shoulders of Senate Republican leadership,” he told Cannabis Now. “They can talk a big game about supporting states’ rights and small business, but their inaction puts an industry and lives at risk. They should be ashamed of their inaction and voters sure won’t forget come November.”

TELL US, do you buy your cannabis with cash or credit?

The post Can We Blame Senate Republicans for Dispensary Robberies Now? appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Congressman Says ‘OK, Boomer’ After Kellyanne Conway Voices Concerns About Weed

Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida has a message for Kellyanne Conway and her stance on the reform of marijuana laws: “OK, boomer.”

Gaetz, 37, used the disparaging comment popularized by fellow millenials and members of Generation Z to reply to Baby Boomers and other older people they feel are out of touch with current norms on an appearance on CNN. Gaetz, a staunch supporter of President Trump, said in an interview that he has tried to encourage him to support reforming the nation’s cannabis laws.

“I have worked to be a positive influence with the president on marijuana reform. To my friend, Kellyanne Conway, I would say, ‘OK, boomer,’” said Gaetz.

The congressman added that Conway, who serves as counselor to the president, has a “very boomer approach to marijuana.” At 52, Conway is technically a member of Generation X.

Cannabis Reform Not a Priority for Trump Administration

Although Trump has expressed support for the STATES Act, a bill that would protect cannabis operations legal under state law from federal prosecution and make essential services like banking and insurance available to the industry, his administration has done little to advance the cause. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed progress, rescinding an Obama administration directive not to interfere with cannabis businesses that operated in compliance with state law.

In April, Conway told CNN that the administration had reservations about efforts to legalize cannabis.

“We’re very concerned about the effect [of marijuana] on the brain, among young people,” Conway said.

She also expressed skepticism that cannabis could be a viable alternative to the widespread use of opioids.

“For all the folks who talk about the benefits and the legality of marijuana, there are many health professionals and employers increasingly concerned that this is not your grandfather or your father’s marijuana,” Conway said. “The TCH [sic] components are much stronger […] We just can’t say it’s all good for all people at this moment.”

Gaetz replied to that comment on Saturday, noting that Conway referred to the compound primarily responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis as TCH rather than THC.

“I think her reflection shows a real ignorance to the science demonstrating that in states where there are marijuana programs, you see a reduction in Schedule I drug recommendations,” Gaetz said. “You also see a reduction in the types of overdoses that are crippling our country and hollowing out America.”

Gaetz also told CNN on Saturday that the “federal prohibition against marijuana has not worked” and has stifled medical advances.

“It has impaired research and it has stopped our states from being able to unlock cures,” he said. Gaetz added that current federal cannabis policy “functions as a wet blanket over the innovation and investment that could allow marijuana to improve people’s lives around the country.”

Gaetz is a co-sponsor of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, a comprehensive marijuana reform bill. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved the measure by a vote of 24 to 10.

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