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UPDATE: Medical marijuana bill...

UPDATE: Medical marijuana bill resurrected in early morning hours of Friday

By: Sarah Ulmer - February 12, 2021

UPDATE Friday 1:30 A.M.:

The Senate adjourned officially on Thursday at 11:45 only to return at 12:01 on Friday morning, a procedural move that allowed them to take up items on the Motion to Reconsider calendar.

Making their way through the list they came to SB 2765 shortly after 12:30 a.m. The bill was debated for roughly an hour with several members including Senator McDaniel, Sen. Blackmon and Sen. Harkins speaking for and against the bill.

Due to the quorum present on what was a new day of work, the bill passed by a vote of 30 to 19. It will now move to he House. The Senate then adjourned until 4:00 p.m. on Monday.


After several recesses on deadline day to rally votes for the bill, SB 2765, the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, failed in the Senate by a vote of 30 to 21.

The bill was authored by Senator Kevin Blackwell who said the intent of the bill was not to replace or overshadow Initiative 65, but to offer an alternative program for the state in the event the Supreme Court invalidates Initiative 65 in upcoming suits that have been filed.

Major changes were made to the original bill in the form of amendments and the bill was ultimately held on a motion to reconsider. This motion will be dealt with on Friday, solidifying whether the bill will live on or not.

The Mississippi Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the case filed by Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Buttler on the validity of Initiative 65. She challenges that the amount of signatures required for the initiative to be on the ballot was not met.

RELATED: MS Supreme Court to hear arguments in Madison Mayor’s case against Initiative 65 come April

The program created in the legislation had a variety of differences from Initiative 65. The largest of which would be the sales tax revenue generated from the sale of medical cannabis. It proposed a 7% sales tax on the product, where no sales tax would be collected through 65.

RELATED: Senate offers Medical Cannabis Act in an attempt to overshadow Initiative 65 program

Initiative 65 did charge a fee on medical marijuana but could not classify it as a sales tax as it would be funneled into the Mississippi State Department of Health to run the program.

In the original bill there was a cap on the amount of dispensaries that could be located in a county. It indicated one dispensary per county, unless the county has a population of over 30,000 people. That stipulation as changed in the amendments added Thursday night.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah:
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