JACKSON -- Mississippi legislators are revising a proposal to establish a medical marijuana program. But Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is yet to say when he will call special sessions to pass it into law.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that a new bill would allow for larger grow facilities, restructure excise taxes on medical marijuana products, and limit the regulatory role of the state Agriculture Department.
House and Senate leaders are seeking to create a medical marijuana program to replace the November initiative. In May, the state Supreme Court ruled that Mississippi's initiative process was outdated and ineffective.
Southaven Republican Senator Kevin Blackwell recently sent the most recent draft to other senators. He stated that more changes were expected to ensure that cannabis facilities are not eligible for economic development incentives.
Blackwell sent an email stating that "this revised draft incorporates inputs from the Senate and House, as well as Governor's office,"
An earlier proposal included a $15 per-ounce excise tax. An excise tax is any tax assessed on manufactured goods at the point they are made, rather than when they are sold.
Advocates for medical marijuana and lobbyists for marijuana advocated for a flat rate. The latest version of the bill includes a 5% excise duty on cannabis that is sold to dispensaries or processing facilities by a cultivator.
Retired ophthalmologist Dr. Matt Wesson said Thursday that he supports medical cannabis and opposes the excise tax.
Wesson stated that this is a pharmaceutical product and therefore is exempt from excise taxes.