Updated: Jul 21
Navigating through the process of getting a medical cannabis card in Mississippi can seem like a daunting task. However, understanding the rules, qualifications, and steps needed can make the procedure more manageable. The Magnolia State has its unique provisions when it comes to the usage and acquisition of medical marijuana. Hence, this guide offers you a comprehensive pathway to becoming a legal medical marijuana patient in Mississippi.
A Brief History of Medical Marijuana Law in Mississippi
Mississippi's journey towards legalizing medical marijuana has been a process marked by significant milestones. This history has been instrumental in shaping the medical cannabis landscape in the Magnolia State today.
The state's medical cannabis program owes its origin to Mississippi voters who, in November 2020, approved Initiative 65. This initiative, designed to allow medical marijuana treatment for people with 22 specified qualifying conditions, was largely supported by the public, showing the demand for alternative, holistic treatment methods.
However, in May 2021, the Mississippi Supreme Court struck down this initiative, ruling that the measure did not meet the state's initiative procedural requirements. The decision was a setback, but it didn't deter the momentum for establishing a medical cannabis program in Mississippi.
In response to the Supreme Court's ruling, Gov. Tate Reeves called a special session of the Mississippi Legislature. During this session, the Legislature, spearheaded by lawmakers like Sen. Kevin Blackwell and Rep. Lee Yancey, developed and passed Senate Bill 1a in October 2021. Gov. Reeves signed this bill into law, marking the creation of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act.
The Act tasked the Mississippi State Department of Health with overseeing the program and ensuring safe access to medical cannabis for eligible Mississippi patients. Thanks to the efforts of many advocates, including State Health Officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, and Deputy State Health Officer, Dr. Dan Edney, the Health Department has been able to craft a well-organized program to cater to the needs of medical cannabis patients in the state.
Today, the state's medical cannabis program continues to evolve, with constant review and updates to better serve Mississippi residents. Through public input, regular review, and compliance with both state and federal law, Mississippi continues to work towards a comprehensive and patient-focused medical marijuana program.
Qualifying Conditions for a Medical Cannabis Card
Before diving into the application process, it's essential to know if you're eligible. A Mississippi medical marijuana card can be obtained by residents who have one or more of the following medical conditions as certified by a licensed medical marijuana doctor:
Chronic terminal diseases
Other conditions specified by the Mississippi State Department of Health including but not limited to:
Sickle Cell Anemia
Consult with an ARCannabisClinic medical practitioner to better understand if your condition qualifies you for medical cannabis treatment.
How to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Mississippi
The application process for a Mississippi medical marijuana card is systematic and involves multiple steps.
Consultation with a Medical Practitioner: You need a written certification from a licensed medical marijuana doctor that you are suffering from a qualifying medical condition. This certification is a fundamental requirement in your patient's medical cannabis card application.
Submission of Application: After receiving the certification, you can apply for the medical card through the Mississippi Department of Health's online portal. Ensure you have your email address and other relevant personal information on hand.
Background Checks: The Department of Health will conduct criminal background checks as part of their vetting process. This step ensures that the medical marijuana use is only authorized to individuals who meet all state requirements.
Approval: The Health Department promises a five-day approval time after receiving and reviewing all necessary documents. Once approved, the Mississippi Department of Health will issue a Mississippi medical marijuana card.
Please note, minors or people incapable of giving consent can apply through a legal guardian or custodial parent. It is also essential to renew the card annually to keep it valid.
Cost of Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Mississippi
In Mississippi, obtaining a medical cannabis card comes with various costs associated with the entire process. It's essential to be aware of these expenses beforehand to ensure you're financially prepared for every step of the journey. Here is a breakdown:
Doctor's Consultation: The initial consultation with a medical practitioner specializing in cannabis treatment forms a crucial part of the application process. This cost varies depending on the doctor but ARCannabisClinic has a price match low-price guarantee so you always know you're getting the best deal. This consultation involves an assessment of your medical condition and determination if medical cannabis could be a viable treatment option for you.
Application Fee: After receiving your doctor's certification, you'll need to apply for the medical card through the Mississippi Department of Health. The application fee, payable to the state, is $50.
Annual Card Renewal: The medical cannabis card in Mississippi is valid for one year. To continue benefiting from the program, cardholders must renew their cards annually. The renewal fee is also $50.
Medical Cannabis Products: Once you have your card, you will need to purchase medical cannabis products from a state-approved dispensary. The cost of these products varies significantly depending on the type and quantity of product needed for your treatment plan.
Please note, these costs are usually out-of-pocket expenses, as medical insurance does not typically cover medical marijuana use. Understanding these costs is crucial for Mississippi residents considering this alternative treatment method.
Rights and Restrictions of Card Holders
Once you have your Mississippi medical marijuana card, you are recognized as a legal medical marijuana patient in the state of Mississippi. However, there are still guidelines you must adhere to:
Cardholders can purchase medical cannabis products from state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries. Remember, the sale of cannabis is limited to Mississippi-grown cannabis, and purchases are tracked in terms of Mississippi Medical Cannabis Equivalency Units.
Usage of marijuana products is prohibited in public places and while operating a motor vehicle.
It is a public record if you hold a business license to operate a marijuana dispensary or testing facility. The state regularly checks these businesses' citation records.
Only low-THC products, topical products, and hemp items are legal in the state. The sale of high-THC cannabis products is prohibited.
For more information, a detailed explanation of all provisions of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act is available on the official website of the Mississippi Department of Health.
To simplify this journey, you can turn to us at ARCannabisClinic. As a national, trusted medical marijuana health technology company, we've emerged as a leader in helping patients gain access to medical marijuana. Our network of state-licensed doctors are skilled at assessing patient needs and frequency of use of the patient, providing the required written certification for your medical card.
ARCannabisClinic is committed to walking with Mississippi residents throughout their medical cannabis journey, from helping you understand if you qualify for medical marijuana treatment to assisting with the application process. We are here to make your path to obtaining a medical cannabis card as seamless as possible.
The journey to becoming a legal medical marijuana patient in the Magnolia State doesn't have to be overwhelming. While it involves several steps — from consultation with a medical practitioner, application, background checks, to approval — understanding the process and having reliable support like ARCannabisClinic can ease the burden.
Stay up-to-date and compliant with Mississippi's medical cannabis program. Use this comprehensive guide as your pathway to becoming a medical cannabis patient in Mississippi.