There will be more meetings on medical marijuana today in Mississippi. During an interview on The Gallo Show on SuperTalk Mississippi this morning, Senator Kevin Blackwell told us he’s meeting with Senate staff and the Governors staff to start putting the formation of the bill together. The Senate will need to come to an agreement before they take anything to the House.
The State Supreme Court negated both the medical marijuana program adopted by voters and the state’s initiative process with one ruling. Since then, many Mississippians have continued to call on Governor Reeves to bring lawmakers back to Jackson to fill the voids left by the decision.
Blackwell told us they’re trying to get as close to Initiative 65 as they can, because that’s what the people voted for. He hopes the Senate would give municipalities an option to opt out of the program. “I believe it ought to be everybody’s in, unless you want to opt out. Opt out should be through a referendum of the people,” Blackwell told us. That means that would have to have a local referendum to make that happen.
They’re looking at retaining the 7% tax, with the money going to the general fund. Blackwell says personally, he’s not in favor of starting a whole new agency to run the program. Of course they’re still debating this, so his thoughts are just conceptual at this point. “I would have the Dept. of Agriculture oversee the growers and the processors, and then the Dept. of Health oversee the testing facilities and dispensaries and issuing of the cardholders.” His vision would have the Dept. of Public Safety overseeing the legal aspects of the program. Blackwell says he’d prefer medical marijuana being grown indoors, not out.
The possibility of a special session is still there, but it would only happen after both the Senate and House come to an agreement on a medical marijuana plan for Mississippi.