Mississippi News

Groups organize to fight medical cannabis opt outs

Organized groups are forming to become active in Mississippi cities that decide to opt out from the medical marijuana law in the state.  

One such group, the Mississippi Cannabis Trade Association, or MSCTA, plans to hold a drive for signatures this weekend in Ridgeland, one of the cities that just recently chose the opt-out from the law. Pass Christian is the other city that announced plans to opt out. 

Municipalities have until May 2 to decide if they will opt out from the law, signed early last month by Gov. Tate Reeves. Southaven and Horn Lake have considered it, with Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite stating he would support such an action, even though he actually supports medical marijuana. Musselwhite’s contention is that the law doesn’t provide cities with the legal means to properly zone dispensaries and other such business locations.  

According to MSCTA, “the governing authorities of a municipality or board of supervisors of a county shall provide a notice in accordance with the Open Meetings Act of its intent to opt-out of the program.”

Citizens do have the ability to file a petition for a referendum to overturn the opt-out.

“In November 2020, over 800,000 Mississippians voted for access to an alternative form of healthcare,” said MSCTA spokesman Melvin Robinson III. “The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act aims to provide that to the citizens of Mississippi, and also possibly provide an economic windfall for the State as well. While the MSCTA is disappointed that any area of the state would opt-out of the program, we are also prepared to assist Mississippians to receive what they voted for.”

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