US (MS): Medical cannabis grower ordered to destroy plants and make improvements

The largest medical cannabis grower licensed so far in Mississippi’s fledgling program had to destroy about $1 million worth of plants, halt some operations and make structural improvements at one of its sites, state Health Department officials said Thursday.

But largely, the department said it is working with new cannabis businesses — all of which have some “compliance” issues — as the program gets going and not dropping the regulatory hammer laid out in state rules or calling law enforcement on them.

A Mississippi Today article and photos in early October showed that Mockingbird Cannabis LLC did not follow state growing and security regulations. The department’s response at that time — to write Mockingbird a letter listing “corrective actions” and to not answer any questions — had competitor growers crying foul. They said Mockingbird was allowed to grow and harvest a crop improperly and on the cheap in plastic- and cloth-covered greenhouses with lax security that would allow them to beat others to market as the program gets rolling.

Mockingbird had been growing plants without listing them in the state’s “seed to sale” tracking system, at a secondary site 12 miles from its main operations on Springridge Road near Raymond. Other cultivators said they were told they had to limit cultivation to one site and that they were not allowed to use greenhouses.

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