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Senate committee passes medical marijuana bill, while awaiting fate of Initiative 65
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Senate Finance Committee Meeting
MPB News

A bill passed by a Senate Committee might serve as an alternative to a medical marijuana law being challenged in Mississippi State Supreme Court.

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Lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee have passed a medical marijuana bill called the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act. The measure makes medical marijuana available to those with debilitating and chronic diseases. Senate Bill 2765 delegates responsibility for regulating the program to the state department of agriculture. Republican Senator Kevin Blackwell of Southaven authored the bill.

“So under these regulations there are guidelines. It’s got to be grown in doors. It’ll basically be hydroponics and there’s going to be quality checks. There’s going to be tagging from seed to sell of the product,” said Blackwell.

But in November more than 70 percent of Mississippians voted for Initiative 65, a constitutional amendment to make medical marijuana legal. Initiative 65 requires the state health department administer the program. Right now the fate of Initiative 65 is before the Mississippi Supreme Court. The mayor of Madison is challenging whether the signatures collected were legal.

Blackwell says if Initiative 65 is struck down, there will be a bill ready to replace it--or both can co-exist.