Northeast Mississippi county votes on medical marijuana sale
PONTOTOC, Miss. (AP) — Voters in a northeast Mississippi county and city are deciding whether to make selling, growing and processing medical marijuana legal in two separate elections.
Voters were deciding on Tuesday in unincorporated areas of Pontotoc County, while they will decide Thursday inside the city limits of Pontotoc, the county seat.
Even if voters reject the referendum, it will remain legal to possess marijuana prescribed for 22 debilitating conditions and bought elsewhere.
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Court overturned it six months later by ruling it was not properly on the ballot because the initiative process was outdated.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.