Northeast Mississippi county rejects medical marijuana sales

Published 9:15 am Saturday, December 17, 2022

Voters in a northeast Mississippi county and city have rejected making it legal to sell, grow and process medical marijuana legal in two separate elections.

Nearly 80% of voters inside the city of Pontotoc rejected the referendum on Thursday. More than 70% of voters in the surrounding unincorporated areas of Pontotoc County rejected the same question on Tuesday.

Even though voters rejected the referendums, it will remain legal to possess marijuana prescribed for 22 debilitating conditions and bought elsewhere.

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A state law passed earlier this year allowed cities and counties to forbid sale and processing. Officials in 18 Mississippi counties and 85 cities opted out. But the law also allows 20% of voters to submit a petition for referendum to override that decision.

Voters statewide initially approved legalizing medical marijuana in a November 2020 vote. But the state Supreme Court overturned it six months later by ruling it was not properly on the ballot because the initiative process was outdated. Gov. Tate Reeves signed a new law earlier this year.

The new law allows patients to buy up to to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day, up to six days a week. That’s about 3 ounces per month.

So far, 154 dispensary licenses have been issued in 38 of Mississippi’s 82 counties, according to the state Department of Revenue.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says medical use of cannabis is legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia.