In 2022, Mississippi officially legalized the use of medical cannabis through the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program (MMCP). The program was established to oversee the product’s use for a specified list of approved medical conditions. This approval by the Legislature was the catalyst for a new industry that is growing all across the state.

The program is housed within the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). The department oversees the regulation and enforcement of laws related to patient cards, medical practitioners, and cannabis cultivation facilities. The Mississippi Independent Cannabis Association (MICA) aids small businesses in the cannabis industry in an attempt to help them succeed against large industry titans. The group is a non-profit founded by local independent cannabis operators.

MICA’s goal is to educate lawmakers and regulators on the roles that the cannabis businesses play within their communities. The group also serves as a liaison between all facets of the cannabis industry in order to provide a better understanding of the product and its uses. “Getting industry discounts, things like that. Building the network, just because you’re a good grower, doesn’t mean you’re a salesperson. Just because you can run a dispensary and do retail doesn’t mean you have any idea about growing. Just because you’ve worked in a kitchen doesn’t mean you can process cannabis goods,” said Mike Watkins, owner of Hill Top Wellness and a MICA board member.

The medical cannabis industry in Mississippi has recently been in the spotlight for issues with products that failed testing requirements. MSDH did not immediately provide updates regarding the products on hold due to it being an open investigation but did say that re-testing has gone very well.

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