The Mississippi Senate Public Health Committee approved a medical cannabis legalization proposal Jan. 12, sending it to the full Senate for consideration.
Mississippi voters approved Initiative 65 in the November 2020 election to legalize medical cannabis in the state, but in May 2021, the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned the measure, ruling it unconstitutional due to an outdated signature-gathering technicality.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision, state lawmakers have been working to restore the will of their constituents through medical cannabis legislation, which has largely been supported by Sen. Kevin Blackwell and Rep. Lee Yancey.
Gov. Tate Reeves indicated that he would call a 2021 special session if Senate and House leaders reached an agreement on a medical cannabis proposal, but despite lawmakers reaching a deal last year and accommodating the majority of Reeves’ suggested revisions, the governor never called a special session.
Reeves has been vocal about his request for lawmakers to reduce the proposed possession limit for patients, and Blackwell recently told Cannabis Business Times that he met with Reeves and brought him a 4-ounce sample of hemp to illustrate the amount.
“He’s going to need to get with his people and truly digest what we’ve offered and if he can support that,” Blackwell said. “So, we’re going to go ahead and go forward. I hope to hear from him before we move forward with debate in committee and on the floor, but we’re prepared to move forward.”