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Senate committee hears advocates and officials from others states about medical marijuana laws
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Marijuana plants under glow lights in a Denver, CO. warehouse
AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

A Mississippi senate committee is collecting information from officials in states where medical marijuana is legal, as they discuss the possibility of crafting a law.

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In Colorado, medical marijuana and adult recreational use are legal according to Dr. Lynn Parry.  She says the THC in medical marijuana, the chemical that provides the high, ranges from 15 percent to 40, some is marketed at 90 percent.  Parry says they're seeing more low birth rate babies and kids in emergency rooms.  She says they recently passed a law to track sales in real time.  Her suggestions include limiting THC concentrations and allowing only doctors to prescribe it.

"I think if you start out just limiting it to physicians you have one medical board than can take responsibility for people who do not practice ethically," said Parry.

Andrew Brisboe heads Michigan's regulatory agency where medical marijuana and adult use are legal.  Sales have doubled in 2020 he says with retail prices dropping.  Brisboe estimates sales for both categories to be $1.5 billion dollars this year. He says the products are illegal on the federal level and works with banks on the issue.

"So they could help address issues on the federal level and provide banking services so the industry wasn't completely be reliant on cash," said Brisboe.

Cedric Anderson with the Mississippi Minority Cannabis Association wants legislators to ensure people of color have equal access to business opportunities citing national statistics.  

"The projection for the end of this year is roughly 420 to 450,000 employees. But the problem we have is we have owners and of those owners only 10 percent of them are black or brown," said Anderson.

A medical marijuana ballot initiative passed in 2020, was ruled unconstitutional by the state supreme court.

Watch the hearing.