Desoto County NewsMississippi News

Medical marijuana license platform identified

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has announced the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program has joined with other industry leaders to launch the state’s medical cannabis licensing platform in June 2022.

Mississippi will join four other states – Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and West Virginia – in using the NIC Licensing Solution (NLS), the only government licensing platform designed specifically for the cannabis industry. The platform will include comprehensive licensing services for patient/caregiver registration, practitioner registration, agent (employee) credentialing, and business licensing across all business types (growers, processor, testing facility, waste management).

This platform provides a single unified portal for all cannabis licensing needs within the state. Initially, NLS will be accessible from the MSDH Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program webpage.

Currently, NLS has more than one million registered users and has processed more than 1.5 million applications.

Additionally, NLS will work with Metrc, a seed-to-sale platform providing regulatory oversight of the growth, harvest, processing, testing, transportation and sale of Mississippi cannabis products. Metrc uses cloud-based tracking software and securely encoded radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that give regulators full supply chain visibility for seed-to-sale tracking of the product.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue will be the agency responsible for issuing dispensary licenses.

MSDH has published the first three proposed regulations under the medical marijuana program. The proposals involved cannabis testing facilities, advertising and marketing, and work permits. The public comment period on these proposals is through April 15. The proposals are on the MSDH website.

The medical marijuana bill signed by Gov. Reeves was authored in large part by state Sen. Kevin Blackwell (R-Southaven). The final version of the bill was a conference report between what passed the Senate and the House version of the bill.  

Cities and counties are under a May 2 deadline to determine if they will opt out of the bill, part of the measure that was passed and signed by the governor.  

Horn Lake’s Board of Alderman has already said it will opt out from the program as it works through zoning issues that many municipalities are dealing with

Other DeSoto County cities have not said if they will opt out or not before the deadline. Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite has stated he supports the medical cannabis concept, but the lack of zoning control means he would urge his aldermen to opt out until those questions are answered.  It’s expected a decision will be made at the next Board of Aldermen meeting.

Once the May 2 deadline is passed cities and counties cannot opt out. If they do before the deadline, they can opt back in at any time.  

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