This week, the Mississippi House of Representatives voted in favor (104-14) of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act (SB 2095). The bill, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Blackwell (R), would restore a medical cannabis law in the state by creating a medical cannabis program.
While the Mississippi Senate voted 46-5 in favor of the bill earlier this month, SB 2095 was amended in the House. The bill will now return to the Senate for concurrence before it heads to the governor’s desk.
“With the passage of SB 2095, today is an historic day for the patients of Mississippi,” said Kevin Caldwell, MPP’s Southeast legislative manager. “The Mississippi Legislature crafted a compromise bill in the aftermath of the Mississippi Supreme Court invalidating Initiative-65 and the will of the people of the Magnolia State. We would like to thank Sen. Kevin Blackwell and Rep. Lee Yancy for their leadership on this issue that is so important to so many patients.”
On November 3, 2020, 69% of Mississippi voters cast their ballots in favor of enacting a medical cannabis program. On that same ballot, 74% voted for a broad program — Initiative 65 — while rejecting a far more restrictive alternative lawmakers had placed on the ballot, Initiative 65A. Subsequently, the state Supreme Court found that the state’s signature requirements for ballot measures could not be complied with and threw out not only Initiative 65, but also the entire state’s ballot initiative process.
To date, 36 states — including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana — have laws providing the framework for patients with debilitating medical conditions to have access to regulated cannabis products under a doctor’s care.