Is weed legal in Mississippi?
Medical marijuana was going to be legal in Mississippi in 2021 after voters approved an initiative in November 2020. But the state's Supreme Court struck down the measure on a technicality. So all cannabis use remains illegal in The Magnolia State. CBD oil with at least 15% CBD and no more than 0.5% THC is legal for patients with debilitating epilepsy.
Cannabis is decriminalized statewide. Possession of up to 30 grams (1 ounce) of cannabis or 10 grams of synthetic cannabinoids is punishable by a fine of $100 to $250 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses and possession of larger amounts carry greater penalties.
In 2014 Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB 1231, or “Harper Grace's Law,” named after Harper Grace Durval, a young girl with a severe form of epilepsy. The law provides an affirmative defense to patients who suffer from a debilitating epileptic condition and their parents or guardians for the possession and use of CBD oil or resin that contains at least 15% CBD, or if in liquid form at least 50 milligrams of CBD per milliliter, and no more than 0.5% THC.
Mississippians approved Initiative 65 in the November 2020 election, which legalized the use of cannabis as a medical treatment for 22 qualifying conditions. It set up a process for physicians to recommend medical marijuana for patients with debilitating conditions and allow those patients or their caregivers to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis medicine.
The measure also required the Department of Health to set up the system and begin issuing patient ID cards and dispensaries licenses by August 2021. The state legislature had put forth an alternative proposal, Initiative 65A, leaving all the details up to an unnamed state agency while requiring it to seek the input of health-care practitioners in the program design. Voters chose the more direct path to medical marijuana legalization.
But it didn't go as legalization advocates planned. The mayor of Madison, a town of 25,000 near the state capital, had asked the state's Supreme Court to invalidate the petition for Initiative 65 right before the election. Despite the fact that more than 70% of voters sided with legalization, in May 2021, the court sided with the opponents. The court found the petition invalid because the state's constitution requires an equal percentage of signatures from five congressional districts, but there are only four districts following redistricting in 2000. A dissenting justice lamented the ruling as the end of the state's citizen initiative process. Patient advocates plan to continue the fight.
Where is it safe to purchase?
CBD oil may only be obtained from the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Department of Pharmacy Services.
Where is it safe to consume?
Qualified patients may consume approved cannabis-derived medicines in their home. Consumption in public is prohibited.
Mississippi Medical Marijuana Program
The only qualifying condition in Mississippi is debilitating epilepsy or related conditions.
Frequently asked questions
What are the laws on possession of small amounts of marijuana in Mississippi?
Small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in Mississippi since the 1970s. Possession of up to 30 grams (1 ounce) of cannabis or 10 grams of synthetic cannabinoids is punishable by a fine of $100 to $250 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses and possession of larger amounts carry greater penalties.
When will marijuana be legal in Mississippi?
While we can't predict the future, we know that Mississippians can petition to have a vote on recreational cannabis legalization added to the ballot. Usually states legalize medical marijuana first, which is also true in Mississippi's case. Mississippians approved Initiative 65 in the November 2020 election, which legalized the use of cannabis as a medical treatment for 22 qualifying conditions. But the state's Supreme Court later invalidated the initiative on procedural grounds.
This page was last updated May 17, 2021.