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US (MP): Agriculture commissioner slams MMJ bill that gives his agency a regulatory role

State Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson said lawmakers are not following the will of voters with a medical cannabis proposal and reiterated his vow that his agency will not participate in regulating it.

“Who is going to operate this expansive program?” Gipson, a former longtime state legislator, said at a press conference on Monday. “Who is going to pay for it? How much is it going to cost? Standing here today, I don’t think anyone can answer these questions… The Mississippi Legislature is notorious for passing massive government programs and expanding bureaucracy without providing any way to pay for it.”

“This agency is not designed nor equipped, nor is this agency funded for such an expansive and expensive program as this proposes,” Gipson said. “This is not what people voted for… This is not what people elected me to do, be a cannabis kingpin.”

Last week, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann (R) and House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) announced that legislative negotiators had reached an agreement on a draft bill to create a medical cannabis program to replace the Initiative 65 program passed by voters last year but shot down by the state Supreme Court. Hosemann and Gunn have asked Gov. Tate Reeves (R) to call lawmakers into a special session on Friday for the Legislature to pass the measure.


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