First Mississippi coast city opts out of medical marijuana

Pass Christian's board of aldermen made the decision on Tuesday not to allow the cultivation,...
Pass Christian's board of aldermen made the decision on Tuesday not to allow the cultivation, processing and sale or distribution of medical cannabis.(WDAM)
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 2:15 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2022 at 6:24 PM CST
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PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - Pass Christian is choosing to opt out of medical marijuana at this time, becoming the first city on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to publicly announce that decision.

The city’s board of aldermen made the decision on Tuesday not to allow the cultivation, processing and sale or distribution of medical cannabis.

According to a post made on Pass Christian’s Facebook page early Wednesday afternoon, city leaders say it is too early to opt in and allow medical marijuana businesses to set up shop.

“The Pass would like to see how other cities in Mississippi deal with all of the issues associated with medical marijuana prior to opting in,” reads the post. “The process for opting back in is simple. Upon proper notice on a future agenda, the Mayor and Board of Alderman can adopt a Resolution at any time that would allow the City to opt back in.”

According to the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act of 2022, municipalities and counties have until June 1st to decide if they will opt out of allowing medical marijuana facilities, for growing or selling. However, 20 percent or 1,500 voters (whichever is fewer) may then petition to put the question on the ballot. The election must be within 60 days.

If the city remains opted out, residents with valid prescriptions would still be able to purchase and use medical cannabis once it is made available from other cities that are opting in.

Technical difficulties resulted in the meeting not streaming feom the beginning on Facebook. The entirety of the meeting can be found here

Posted by City of Pass Christian on Tuesday, March 1, 2022

A majority of Mississippi voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in November 2020. The state Supreme Court invalidated it six months later by ruling that the state’s initiative process was outdated and the measure was not put properly on the ballot. The state House and Senate, both controlled by Republicans, passed the final version of Senate Bill 2095 in February.

The new law will allow patients to buy up to to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day, up to six days a week. That is about three ounces per month. It sets taxes on production and sale of cannabis, and it specifies that plants must be grown indoors under controlled conditions.

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