On September 14, 2023, the state Department of Health of Mississippi announced newly revised amendments to the regulations governing the cannabis sector. A report claims that the agency would take feedback from the public and businesses until October 2nd.
The South’s newest medical marijuana program, which just began selling in January, has been under review for months as state politicians and regulators have been busy putting changes forth.
The new regulations considerably extend the guidelines that must be followed by medical marijuana users, their caregivers, and doctors who prescribe it, as well as how non-residents can obtain medical cannabis cards for purchase at dispensaries.
The new regulations also include stringent requirements for company licenses, background checks, labor permits, record-keeping for businesses, product testing and safety, packaging for cannabis products, transportation, and more.
Revised Regulations For Cannabis Businesses
- Adds a procedure by which a licensee can request a “variance,” a mechanism that essentially provides licensees a chance to get approval to not adhere to all of the rules.
- Specifies that transportation and cultivation require separate licenses.
- An applicant will have three chances to make corrections after receiving a license application; beyond that, the application will be rejected.
- The revised regulation amends employment practices SOPs requirements.
- There must be biosecurity SOPs in place for all cultivators with licenses.
- The definition of “batch” has been revised to 25 pounds which was previously 10 pounds.
- Health and safety risks from a lack of plant/package tags and inadequate security measures may make a provisional license improper.
- Licensees must engage in licensed activity on the premises within a year of the license being issued in order to avoid having their licenses suspended, revoked, or not renewed. Delays in the construction of the cultivation facility can be an exemption to this rule.
- Before starting operations, it is necessary to confirm that biosecurity measures have been implemented.
- A more general directive requiring licensees to “ensure that all reporting into the Department approved statewide seed-to-sale system is clear, accurate, and transparent. The earlier regulation stated the requirement that cultivation facilities reconcile all product inventories daily in the seed-to-sale tracking system.
- Barring anyone from living at the same address or on the same property as the cannabis business, as well as specifically prohibiting home grows.
- Throughout all phases of growing, cannabis must be consistently and properly tagged.
- The site must have a plan in place for pest management.
- The statewide seed-to-sale system must make it simple to distinguish between all locations connected to cultivation. The locations specified in the system must be designed so that it is simple to determine the position of inventory at all times and in compliance with the medical cannabis establishment’s approved site plan.
- The requirement that the water supply at the cultivation site come from a regulated water system will no longer apply.
- If a licensed entity owes back taxes but has made an agreement to pay them, the entity will not be prevented from obtaining a license due to the tax debt.
- Within seven days of their start dates, all employees of cannabis enterprises must be added to the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system.
- The term “agent” has been dropped from the regulations’ substantive sections, but it is still used in the definitions section.
- Modified the information and paperwork needed to renew a work permit.
- The removal of plant waste and cannabis trash under direct video observation must be part of the operating strategy.
- As a result of departmental remedial and/or administrative measures, products and inventory from medical cannabis companies that may be destroyed and/or rendered unrecognizable and unusable through disposal are now included in the definition of cannabis waste.
- Within 30 days of their hiring date, workers of the disposal business are required to complete initial training in specified topics for eight hours and recurring training in a set of five hours.
Revised Regulations For Medical Practitioners
According to a report, the guidelines for medical professionals now include a new restriction on the use of slang terms such as “pot, weed, dope, or grass” as well as any imagery of marijuana or smoking accessories. Additionally, they are forbidden from using either electronic interstate or adopt-a-highway signs, radio or television stations, newspapers, pop-up ads, social media, mass texts, or emails to advertise.