by Kobee Vance, originally published on www.mpbonline.org
The Mississippi law that will legalize medical marijuana goes into effect tomorrow, and farmers will then be allowed to start crop production. But experts say it will take some time before patients can purchase product.
This Friday, dozens of laws will go into effect, including the Mississippi Medicinal Cannabis Trade act. The bill was signed in February, and regulations for patients, providers and cultivators have been in development for months through the Department of Health. Melvin Robinson with the Mississippi Cannabis Trade Association says this upcoming deadline will not only cement this new industry into law, but also allow dispensaries to begin their own application process through the Department of Revenue.
Robinson says “A lot of different cannabis companies are hiring right now, a lot of them are having great processes. We haven’t heard that many complaints about the workforce. We’re just happy that people can have these jobs, people can be a part of the workforce, and they can improve their quality of life.”
Although the infrastructure for the medicinal cannabis industry will be growing rapidly in the coming days, experts say it will take some time before Mississippi patients can purchase marijuana products. Angie Calhoun, with the Mississippi Cannabis Patients Alliance, says it will take time for crops to grow and businesses to open. Because of those delays, she says patients should wait until later this year to get certified for medical cannabis usage.
“Once the patient gets certified, within 60 days they have to fill out the application through the Department of Health. But as soon as the Department of Health issues a patient registry ID card, that means the clock is ticking. 12 months later is when you have to be recertified,” says Calhoun.
It is not too early to begin asking a doctor about medical marijuana usage, and a list of many doctors who will be licensed to certify patients is available on the Cannabis Patients Alliance website.