Bill Text: MS HB1676 | 2024 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Mississippi Intoxicating Hemp Regulation Act and Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act; revise certain provisions of.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2024-04-15 - Returned For Concurrence [HB1676 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2024-HB1676-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2024 Regular Session

To: Public Health and Human Services; Ways and Means

By: Representative Yancey

House Bill 1676

AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE MANUFACTURE, PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, AND SALE OF A CONSUMABLE HEMP PRODUCT THAT CONTAINS EQUAL TO OR LESS THAN 0.5 MILLIGRAMS OF TOTAL THC PER SERVING AND EQUAL TO OR LESS THAN 2.5 MILLIGRAMS OF TOTAL THC PER PACKAGE AND HAS A RATIO OF CANNABIDIOL TO TOTAL THC OF AT LEAST TWENTY TO ONE; TO PROVIDE THAT INTOXICATING HEMP PRODUCTS MAY ONLY BE SOLD IN MISSISSIPPI BY PERSONS OR BUSINESS ENTITIES LICENSED UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CANNABIS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR LICENSING RETAILERS, WHOLESALERS, MANUFACTURERS, AND PROCESSORS OF CONSUMABLE HEMP PRODUCTS; TO REQUIRE THAT A FINALIZED SAMPLE OF FINISHED HEMP PRODUCTS HAVE A CERTIFICATE OF ANALYSIS; TO REQUIRE THAT LABELS FOR HEMP PRODUCTS BE APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO PROVIDE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSUMABLE FOOD MANUFACTURING DISTRIBUTORS; TO REQUIRE A LICENSED ENTITY TO PROVIDE A REPORT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH OR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE; TO REQUIRE PRODUCTS CONTAINING CBD TO BE TESTED IN A FACILITY WITH A DEA CERTIFICATION; TO IMPOSE A 3% EXCISE TAX; TO AMEND SECTION 69-25-207, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE ALL LICENSE HOLDERS TO ADHERE TO GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICES; TO AMEND SECTION 69-25-201, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO RENAME THE "MISSISSIPPI HEMP CULTIVATION ACT" AS THE "MISSISSIPPI INTOXICATING HEMP REGULATION ACT"; TO AMEND SECTION 69-25-203, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DEFINE THE TERMS "CONSUMABLE HEMP PRODUCT", "INTOXICATING HEMP PRODUCT" AND "TOTAL THC"; TO AMEND SECTION 69-25-213, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REDUCE FROM A CONCENTRATION OF MORE THAN 0.5% TO A CONCENTRATION OF MORE THAN 0.3%, THE VIOLATION OF PRODUCING CANNABIS SATIVA L. WITH A CERTAIN DELTA-9-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL CONCENTRATION ON A DRY WEIGHT BASIS; TO AMEND SECTION 69-25-217, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROHIBIT THE MANUFACTURE OR PRODUCTION OF ANY INTOXICATING HEMP PRODUCTS FOR SALE WITHIN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS; TO PROHIBIT THE SALE OF ANY INTOXICATING HEMP PRODUCTS WITHIN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS; TO PROHIBIT THE MANUFACTURE, PRODUCTION, OR SALE OF ANY HEMP PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN AN ARTIFICIALLY DERIVED CANNABINOID; TO PROHIBIT THE SALE OF ANY CONSUMABLE HEMP PRODUCT TO ANY PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 21 YEARS; TO AMEND SECTION 41-137-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCLUDE INTOXICATING HEMP PRODUCTS IN THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "CANNABIS PRODUCTS"; TO DEFINE THE TERMS "HEMP-DERIVED INGREDIENT" AND "INTOXICATING HEMP PRODUCT"; TO AMEND SECTION 41-137-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE PURCHASE OR ACQUISITION OF HEMP-DERIVED INGREDIENTS BY A CANNABIS CULTIVATION, PROCESSING OR RESEARCH FACILITY FOR THE MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS; TO AMEND SECTION 41-137-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCLUDE INCORPORATING HEMP-DERIVED INGREDIENTS PURCHASED BY MEDICAL CANNABIS ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE CAPABILITIES OF THE SEED-TO-SALE TRACKING SYSTEM; TO AMEND SECTION 41-137-39, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ENTITIES NOT LICENSED UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CANNABIS ACT ARE PROHIBITED FROM SELLING INTOXICATING HEMP PRODUCTS; TO AMEND SECTION 41-137-45, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON OR ENTITY TO SELL OR TRANSFER INTOXICATING HEMP PRODUCTS TO INDIVIDUALS IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR A PERSON OR BUSINESS ENTITY THAT UNLAWFULLY SELLS INTOXICATING HEMP PRODUCTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Section 69-25-201, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     69-25-201.  Short title; exclusivity.  This article shall be known as the "Mississippi Intoxicating Hemp * * *Cultivation Regulation Act."  The regulation of hemp cultivation and processing shall be governed exclusively by the provisions of the Mississippi Intoxicating Hemp * * *Cultivation Regulation Act.  A municipality, county or other political subdivision of this state shall not enact, adopt or enforce a rule, ordinance, order, resolution or other regulation that allows, prohibits or penalizes the cultivation, production or processing of hemp in this state.

     SECTION 2.  Section 69-25-203, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     69-25-203.  Definitions.  For purposes of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth below unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

          (a)  "Bureau of Plant Industry" means a division of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce created under the provisions of Section 69-25-3.

          (b)  "Business entity" means a nonnatural person and includes nonprofit and for-profit corporations, partnerships, limited liability corporations, and other legal entities recognized by law.

          (c)  "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce of the State of Mississippi.  Where applicable under the provisions of this article, "commissioner" shall include the commissioner's designee.

          (d)  "Consumable hemp product" means a finished product that is intended for human consumption, contains any part of the hemp plant, including naturally occurring cannabinoids, compounds, concentrates, extracts, isolates, or resins, and contains less than three-tenths percent (0.3%) of THC.

          (e)  "Consumable food manufacturing distributor" means any individual, partnership, corporation, cooperative association, or other business entity that receives raw industrial hemp, hemp floral material, extracts, distillates, isolates or any extracted form of industrial hemp as long as it is extracted from industrial hemp for the manufacturing, distribution and/or processing of any industrial hemp product including, but not limited to, edibles, tinctures, smokables, vapables, lubricants, salves, lotions, hemp floral material, concentrates, distillates, and/or liquids.

          ( * * *df)  "Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol" means the sum of the percentage by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol acid multiplied by eight hundred seventy-seven thousandths (0.877) plus the percentage by weight of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

          ( * * *eg)  "Department" means the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

          ( * * *fh)  "Grower" means a person, business entity, joint venture or cooperative that cultivates, grows or harvests hemp.

          ( * * *gi)  "Hemp" means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than three-tenths percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis that is grown or processed under this article.

          (j)  "Intoxicating hemp product" means a consumable hemp product that contains more than one-half (0.5) milligrams of total THC per serving or more than two and one-half (2.5) milligrams of total THC per package or which contains a ratio of cannabidiol to total THC greater than or equal to twenty (20) to one (1).

          ( * * *hk)  "Legal description of land" means Global Position System coordinates and shall also include the metes and bounds to include township, range, and section for the location in which hemp is grown.

          ( * * *il)  "Person" means any person, firm, association, corporation or business entity.

          ( * * *jm)  "Processor" means a person, business entity, joint venture or cooperative that receives hemp for processing into commodities, products or hemp seed.  A processor also includes any such entity that brokers and/or stores hemp.

          ( * * *kn)  "State plan" means the plan contemplated by 7 C.F.R. Part 990 Subpart B that a state must file for approval with the United States Secretary of Agriculture.

          ( * * *lo)  "USDA" means the United States Department of Agriculture.

          (p)  "Total THC" means any and all forms of tetrahydrocannabinol that are contained naturally in the cannabis plant, as well as synthesized forms of THC and derived variations, derivatives, isomers and allotropes that have similar molecular and physiological characteristics of tetrahydrocannabinol, including, but not limited to, THCA, THC Delta 9, THC Delta 8, THC Delta 10 and THC Delta 6.

          (q)  "Manufacturer" means a business entity that is licensed by the department that manufactures or intends to manufacture a consumable hemp product from unprocessed hemp or hemp extract.

          (r)  "Retailer" means a dealer, other than a wholesaler, whose principal business is that of selling merchandise at retail, who sells consumable hemp products.

          (s)  "Wholesaler" means a dealer whose principal business is that of wholesale dealer, and who is known to the trade as such, that sells any consumable hemp products to licensed retailers only for the purpose of resale.

     SECTION 3.  Section 69-25-213, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     69-25-213.  Negligent violations.  (1)  Upon a determination by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, the following may constitute negligent violations:

          (a)  Failing to provide a legal description of land on which the grower produces hemp;

          (b)  Failing to obtain a license or other required authorization from the department;

          (c)  Failing to register with the department;

          (d)  Producing Cannabis sativa L. with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of more than * * *five‑tenths percent (0.5%) three-tenths percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis; or

          (e)  Any other violation of the State Plan, including any rules and regulations set forth by the department.

     (2)  Corrective action plan.  (a)  A hemp grower shall comply with a plan established by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee to correct the negligent violation, including:

              (i)  A reasonable date by which the hemp grower shall correct the negligent violation; and

              (ii)  A requirement that the hemp grower shall periodically report to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee regarding the compliance with the corrective plan for a period of not less than the next two (2) calendar years.

          (b)  The department shall notify the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics of all corrective action plans implemented by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee.

     (3)  Result of negligent violation.  A hemp grower that negligently violates the State Plan shall not, as a result of that violation, be subject to any criminal enforcement action by a state, county or local government entity.

     (4)  Repeat violations.  A hemp grower that negligently violates the State Plan three (3) times in a five-year period shall be ineligible to produce hemp for a period of five (5) years beginning on the date of the third violation.

     SECTION 4.  Section 69-25-217, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     69-25-217.  Prohibitions.  (1)  It shall be unlawful for any person or business entity to:

          (a)  Violate this chapter or any rules or regulations promulgated under this chapter;

          (b)  Fail to comply with a corrective action plan issued by the commissioner under Section 69-25-213(2);

          (c)  Transport hemp or hemp materials in violation of Section 69-25-209 or rules or regulations adopted under this chapter; or

          (d)  Cultivate or grow hemp with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of more than three-tenths percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis.

          (e)  Manufacture or produce any intoxicating hemp products for sale within the State of Mississippi, except as authorized under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act;

          (f)  Sell any intoxicating hemp products within the State of Mississippi or to Mississippi consumers, except in retailers that exclusively sell hemp products or medical cannabis dispensaries, as authorized under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act;

          (g)  Manufacture, produce, or sell any hemp product that contains an artificially derived cannabinoid as defined in Section 41-137-3; or

          (h)  Sell any consumable hemp product to any person under the age of twenty-one (21) years.

     (2)  Any person or business entity that purposely, knowingly or recklessly violates this provision of this chapter relating to hemp production or processing shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction of the violation, shall be fined in an amount not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or sentenced to imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or both such fine and imprisonment.

     (3)  Notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section, if any person or entity purposely, recklessly or knowingly cultivates or grows hemp with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of more than one percent (1%) on a dry weight basis that person or entity shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, or a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment.

     (4)  For purposes of this section, the terms "purposely", "knowingly" and "recklessly" have the following meanings:

          (a)  "Purposefully" means a person acts purposely with respect to a material element of an offense if:

              (i)  The element involves the nature of his or her conduct or a result thereof, it is his or her conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result; and

              (ii)  The element involves the attendant circumstances, he or she is aware of the existence of such circumstances or he or she believes or hopes that they exist.

          (b)  "Knowingly" means a person acts knowingly with respect to a material element of an offense if:

              (i)  The element involves the nature of his or her conduct or the attendant circumstances, he or she is aware that his or her conduct is of that nature or that such circumstances exist; and

              (ii)  The element involves a result of his or her conduct, he or she is aware that it is practically certain that his or her conduct will cause such a result.

          (c)  "Recklessly" means a person acts recklessly with respect to a material element of an offense when he or she consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his or her conduct.  The risk must be of such a nature and degree that, considering the nature and purpose of the actor's conduct and the circumstances known to him or her, its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a law-abiding person would observe in the actor's situation.

     SECTION 5.  (1)  It is not a violation of this act to manufacture, produce, distribute, or sell a consumable hemp product, including tinctures, provided the consumable hemp product contains equal to or less than one-half (0.5) milligrams of total THC per serving and equal to or less than two and one-half (2.5) milligrams of total THC per package and has a ratio of cannabidiol to total THC of at least twenty (20) to one (1).

     (2)  Intoxicating hemp products may only be sold in Mississippi by persons or business entities licensed under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act.

     (3)  Persons and business entities regulated under this act who do not hold a license under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act may not manufacture or produce intoxicating hemp products for consumption in the state.

     (4)  Persons and business entities regulated under this act who do not hold a license under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act may not sell intoxicating hemp products for consumption in the state.

     (5)  Nothing in this act shall limit or affect the interstate commerce of hemp or hemp products through the state.

     SECTION 6.  The Department of Agriculture and Commerce shall be responsible for the licensing of consumable hemp retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and processors, and shall begin issuing licenses to such businesses upon the effective date of this act.

          (a)  A consumable hemp retailer shall be subject to a nonrefundable annual license fee of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00);

          (b)  A consumable hemp wholesaler shall be subject to a nonrefundable annual license fee of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00);

          (c)  A consumable hemp manufacturer shall be subject to a nonrefundable annual license fee of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00); and

          (d)  A consumable hemp processor shall be subject to a nonrefundable annual license fee of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00).    

     SECTION 7.  All labels for any product containing hemp shall be approved by the Department of Health.

     A finalized sample of any finished hemp product shall have a complete certificate of analysis (COA) from a testing facility and/or laboratory that analyzes the safety and potency of hemp products, and such COA shall be provided to the Department of Health.

     SECTION 8.   (1)  Consumable food manufacturing distributors shall:

          (a)  Be Hemp Good Manufacturing Practice (Hemp GMP) certified from an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recognized entity and hold a current food manufacturing license specializing in consumable hemp, from the State Department of Health, or within the state health department of where the entity's facility resides with a minimum pending Hemp GMP certification as of December 31, 2023.

          (b)  Have a GMP certified facility along with a current Mississippi food manufacturing license issued by the State Department of Health, or current state approved food manufacturing license issued from entity's state health department, located within the United States, specializing in consumable hemp products.

          (c)  Have the authority to designate authorized agents for the purposes of wholesaling consumable hemp products to Mississippi licensed wholesalers or retailers.

          (d)  Be responsible for notifying the State Department of Health of any designated agents.

          (e)  Obtain and offer for sale, anti-counterfeiting scan codes for distribution of any industrial hemp product approved by the State Department of Health.

     (2)  Consumable food manufacturing distributors may sell to licensed wholesalers, licensed retailers and directly to consumers.

     SECTION 9.  Any entity registered with the State Department of Health or Department of Agriculture and Commerce as provided under this act, shall submit a report on a quarterly basis due by the 20th of the following month detailing any hemp product manufactured, distributed, purchased, sold at wholesale or sold at retail.

     A wholesaler, consumable hemp manufacturer, consumable food manufacturing distributor, processor, or retailer shall be subject to a fine as prescribed by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce per incident for purchasing or selling any unlawful hemp products.

     Any wholesaler, consumable hemp manufacturer, consumable food manufacturing distributor, processor, or retailer shall pay a minimum fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for failing to report by the 20th of the following month, hemp products

purchased or sold in Mississippi to the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

     An electronic reporting system shall be implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

     SECTION 10.  Products that contain cannabidiol (CBD) shall be tested in a testing facility and/or laboratory with a DEA Certification (ISO17025) that analyzes the safety and potency of CBD products.

     SECTION 11.  There is hereby imposed, levied and assessed an excise tax on consumable hemp products.  A manufacturer and/or processor shall collect and remit an excise tax on forms and in a manner specified by the Commissioner of Revenue.

     The excise tax on consumable hemp products shall be based on the sales price for which a manufacturer and/or processor sells to a wholesaler and/or retailer, and the rate of the excise tax shall be three percent (3%) of such sales price.

     The excise tax imposed by this section shall apply regardless of the ownership of the manufacturing and/or processing facility to which the manufacturer and/or processor sells or transfers the consumable hemp products, as the case may be.

     All administrative provisions of the sales tax law and amendments thereto, including those which fix damages, penalties and interest for nonpayment of taxes and for noncompliance with the provision of said sales tax law, and all other requirements and duties imposed upon a taxpayer, shall apply to all persons liable for taxes under the provisions of this subsection.  The commissioner shall exercise all power and authority and perform all duties with respect to taxpayers under this subsection as are provided in said sales tax law, except where there is conflict, then the provisions of this subsection shall control.

     All excise taxes collected under the provisions of this subsection shall be deposited into the State General Fund.

     SECTION 12.  Section 69-25-207, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     69-25-207.  Licensing and registration.  (1)  Pursuant to the provisions of this article, cultivation and processing of hemp, as defined in Section 69-25-203, are authorized in this state.  Cultivation and processing of hemp are subject to regulation by the department and may only be performed by persons or business entities that hold a valid license or registration issued hereunder.

     (2)  The commissioner shall create a State Plan for submission to and approval by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Secretary of Agriculture.  The commissioner and department shall promulgate such reasonable regulations as necessary to implement the State Plan and provisions of this article.  The commissioner and the department shall be authorized to promulgate any rule or regulation deemed necessary for the administration of the provisions of this article in compliance with any federal law, rule or regulation promulgated by the United States Department of Agriculture.

     (3)  The department is authorized to accept applications, and issue licenses and/or registrations for all hemp growers and hemp processors.  The department shall adopt and enforce all rules and regulations related to those licenses and/or registrations.

     (4)  All hemp growers must be licensed by the department.

     (5)  All hemp processors must register with the department.

     (6)  All license * * *d holders and registered processors shall keep and maintain crop and/or processing records in accordance with rules and regulations adopted and enforced by the department.  The department may subject the required records to inspection.  The department may make an inspection for the purpose of ensuring compliance with:

          (a)  USDA guidelines;

          (b)  Provisions of this article;

          (c)  Department rules and regulations;

          (d)  Any terms or conditions of a license issued hereunder; 

          (e)  Good manufacturing practices (GMP);

          ( * * *ef)  Registration with the department; or

          ( * * *fg)  A final department order directed to the grower's or processor's hemp operations or activities.

     (7)  All hemp growers and processors shall be subject to a background investigation conducted by the Department of Public Safety, which shall include both a state and federal background check.

     SECTION 13.  Section 41-137-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-137-3.  For purposes of this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed herein:

          (a)  "Artificially derived cannabinoid" means a chemical substance that is created by a chemical reaction that changes the molecular structure of any chemical substance derived from the plant Cannabis family Cannabaceae.  Such term shall not include:

              (i)  A naturally occurring chemical substance that is separated from the plant Cannabis family Cannabaceae by a chemical or mechanical extraction process;

              (ii)  Cannabinoids that are produced by decarboxylation from a naturally occurring cannabinoid acid without the use of a chemical catalyst; or

              (iii)  Any other chemical substance identified by MDOH.

          (b)  "Allowable amount of medical cannabis" means an amount not to exceed the maximum amount of Mississippi Medical Cannabis Equivalency Units ("MMCEU").

          (c)  "Bona fide practitioner-patient relationship" means:

               (i)  A practitioner and patient have a treatment or consulting relationship, during the course of which the practitioner, within his or her scope of practice, has completed an in-person assessment of the patient's medical history and current mental health and medical condition and has documented their certification in the patient's medical file;

               (ii)  The practitioner has consulted in person with the patient with respect to the patient's debilitating medical condition; and

              (iii)  The practitioner is available to or offers to provide follow-up care and treatment to the patient.

          (d)  "Cannabis" means all parts of the plant of the genus cannabis, the flower, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the plant, its seeds or its resin, including whole plant extracts.  Such term shall not mean cannabis-derived drug products approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration under Section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

          (e)  "Cannabis cultivation facility" means a business entity licensed and registered by the Mississippi Department of Health that acquires, grows, cultivates and harvests medical cannabis in an indoor, enclosed, locked and secure area.

          (f)  "Cannabis disposal entity" means a business licensed and registered by the Mississippi Department of Health that is involved in the commercial disposal or destruction of medical cannabis.

          (g)  "Cannabis processing facility" means a business entity that is licensed and registered by the Mississippi Department of Health that:

               (i)  Acquires or intends to acquire cannabis from a cannabis cultivation facility;

               (ii)  Possesses cannabis with the intent to manufacture a cannabis product;

               (iii)  Manufactures or intends to manufacture a cannabis product from unprocessed cannabis or a cannabis extract; and

               (iv)  Sells or intends to sell a cannabis product to a medical cannabis dispensary, cannabis testing facility or cannabis research facility.

          (h)  "Cannabis products" means cannabis flower, concentrated cannabis, cannabis extracts and products that are infused with cannabis or an extract thereof and are intended for use or consumption by humans.  The term includes, without limitation, edible cannabis products, beverages, topical products, ointments, oils, intoxicating hemp products, tinctures and suppositories that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or cannabidiol (CBD) except those products excluded from control under Sections 41-29-113 and 41-29-136.

          (i)  "Cannabis research facility" or "research facility" means a research facility at any university or college in this state or an independent entity licensed and registered by the Mississippi Department of Health pursuant to this chapter that acquires cannabis from cannabis cultivation facilities and cannabis processing facilities in order to research cannabis, develop best practices for specific medical conditions, develop medicines and provide commercial access for medical use.

          (j)  "Cannabis testing facility" or "testing facility" means an independent entity licensed and registered by the Mississippi Department of Health that analyzes the safety and potency of cannabis.

          (k)  "Cannabis transportation entity" means an independent entity licensed and registered by the Mississippi Department of Health that is involved in the commercial transportation of medical cannabis.

          (l)  "Cannabis waste" means plant debris of the plant of the genus cannabis, including dead plants and all unused plant parts.  This term shall not include seeds, roots, stems and stalks.

          (m)  "Cannabinoid" means any of the chemical compounds that are the active constituents derived from THC.

          (n)  "Canopy" means the total surface area within a cultivation area that is dedicated to the cultivation of flowering cannabis plants.  The surface area of the plant canopy must be calculated in square feet and measured and must include all of the area within the boundaries where the cultivation of the flowering cannabis plants occurs.  If the surface area of the plant canopy consists of noncontiguous areas, each component area must be separated by identifiable boundaries.  If a tiered or shelving system is used in the cultivation area the surface area of each tier or shelf must be included in calculating the area of the plant canopy.  Calculation of the area of the plant canopy may not include the areas within the cultivation area that are used to cultivate immature cannabis plants and seedlings, prior to flowering, and that are not used at any time to cultivate mature cannabis plants.

          (o)  "Cardholder" means a registered qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver who has been issued and possesses a valid registry identification card.

          (p)  "Chronic pain" means a pain state in which the cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated, and which in the generally accepted course of medical practice, no relief or cure of the cause of the pain is possible, or none has been found after reasonable efforts by a practitioner.

          (q)  "Concentrate" means a substance obtained by separating cannabinoids from cannabis by:

               (i)  A mechanical extraction process;

               (ii)  A chemical extraction process using a nonhydrocarbon-based or other solvent, such as water, vegetable glycerin, vegetable oils, animal fats, food-grade ethanol or steam distillation; or

               (iii)  A chemical extraction process using the hydrocarbon-based solvent carbon dioxide, provided that the process does not involve the use of high heat or pressure.

          (r)  "Debilitating medical condition" means:

              (i)  Cancer, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, sickle-cell anemia, Alzheimer's disease, agitation of dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, pain refractory to appropriate opioid management, diabetic/peripheral neuropathy, spinal cord disease or severe injury, or the treatment of these conditions;

              (ii)  A chronic, terminal or debilitating disease or medical condition, or its treatment, that produces one or more of the following:  cachexia or wasting syndrome, chronic pain, severe or intractable nausea, seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or

               (iii)  Any other serious medical condition or its treatment added by the Mississippi Department of Health, as provided for in Section 41-137-17.

          (s)  "Designated caregiver" means a person who:

              (i)  Has agreed to assist with a registered qualifying patient's medical use of medical cannabis;

               (ii)  Assists no more than five (5) registered qualifying patients with their medical use of medical cannabis, unless the designated caregiver's registered qualifying patients each reside in or are admitted to a health care facility or facility providing residential care services or day care services where the designated caregiver is employed;

               (iii)  Is at least twenty-one (21) years of age unless the person is the parent or legal guardian of each qualifying patient the person assists; and

               (iv)  Has not been convicted of a disqualifying felony offense.

          (t)  "Disqualifying felony offense" means:

               (i)  A conviction for a crime of violence, as defined in Section 97-3-2;

              (ii)  A conviction for a crime that was defined as a violent crime in the law of the jurisdiction in which the offense was committed, and that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted; or

              (iii)  A conviction for a violation of a state or federal controlled substances law that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted, including the service of any term of probation, incarceration or supervised release within the previous five (5) years and the offender has not committed another similar offense since the conviction.  Under this subparagraph (iii), a disqualifying felony offense shall not include a conviction that consisted of conduct for which this chapter would likely have prevented the conviction but for the fact that the conduct occurred before February 2, 2022.

          (u)  "Edible cannabis products" means products that:

               (i)  Contain or are infused with cannabis or an extract thereof;

               (ii)  Are intended for human consumption by oral ingestion; and

              (iii)  Are presented in the form of foodstuffs, beverages, extracts, oils, tinctures, lozenges and other similar products.

          (v)  "Entity" means a corporation, general partnership, limited partnership or limited liability company that has been registered with the Secretary of State as applicable.

          (w)  "Hemp-derived ingredient" means a hemp biomass, hemp-derived distillate, or other ingredient derived from hemp to be used in the production of a cannabis product.

          (x)  "Intoxicating hemp product" means a product as defined in Section 69-25-203.

          ( * * *wy)  "MMCEU" means Mississippi Medical Cannabis Equivalency Unit.  One unit of MMCEU shall be considered equal to:

               (i)  Three and one-half (3.5) grams of medical cannabis flower;

               (ii)  One (1) gram of medical cannabis concentrate; or

               (iii)  One hundred (100) milligrams of THC in an infused product.

          ( * * *xz)  "MDOH" means the Mississippi Department of Health.

          ( * * *yaa)  "MDOR" means the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

          ( * * *zbb)  "Medical cannabis" means cannabis, cannabis products and edible cannabis that are intended to be used by registered qualifying patients as provided in this chapter.

          ( * * *aacc)  "Medical cannabis dispensary" or "dispensary" means an entity licensed and registered with the MDOR that acquires, possesses, stores, transfers, sells, supplies or dispenses medical cannabis, equipment used for medical cannabis, or related supplies and educational materials to cardholders.

          ( * * *bbdd)  "Medical cannabis establishment" means a cannabis cultivation facility, cannabis processing facility, cannabis testing facility, cannabis dispensary, cannabis transportation entity, cannabis disposal entity or cannabis research facility licensed and registered by the appropriate agency.

          ( * * *ccee)  "Medical cannabis establishment agent" means an owner, officer, board member, employee, volunteer or agent of a medical cannabis establishment.

          ( * * *ddff)  "Medical use" includes the acquisition, administration, cultivation, processing, delivery, harvest, possession, preparation, transfer, transportation, or use of medical cannabis or equipment relating to the administration of medical cannabis to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the patient's debilitating medical condition.  The term "medical use" does not include:

              (i)  The cultivation of cannabis unless the cultivation is done by a cannabis cultivation facility; or

              (ii)  The extraction of resin from cannabis by mechanical or chemical extraction unless the extraction is done by a cannabis processing facility.

          ( * * *eegg"Nonresident cardholder" means a person who:

               (i)  Has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a practitioner in his or her respective state or territory, or is the parent, guardian, conservator or other person with authority to consent to the medical use of medical cannabis by a person who has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition;

              (ii)  Is not a resident of Mississippi or who has been a resident of Mississippi for less than forty-five (45) days; and

              (iii)  Has submitted any documentation required by MDOH rules and regulations and has received confirmation of registration.

          ( * * *ffhh)  "Practitioner" means a physician, certified nurse practitioner, physician assistant or optometrist who is licensed to prescribe medicine under the licensing requirements of their respective occupational boards and the laws of this state.  In relation to a nonresident cardholder, the term means a physician, certified nurse practitioner, physician assistant or optometrist who is licensed to prescribe medicine under the licensing requirements of their respective occupational boards and under the laws of the state or territory in which the nonresident patient resides.  For registered qualifying patients who are minors, "practitioner" shall mean a physician or doctor of osteopathic medicine who is licensed to prescribe medicine under the licensing requirements of their respective occupational boards and the laws of this state.

          ( * * *ggii)  "Public place" means a church or any area to which the general public is invited or in which the general public is permitted, regardless of the ownership of the area, and any area owned or controlled by a municipality, county, state or federal government, including, but not limited to, streets, sidewalks or other forms of public transportation.  Such term shall not mean a private residential dwelling.

          ( * * *hhjj)  "Qualifying patient" means a person who has been diagnosed by a practitioner as having a debilitating medical condition and has been issued a written certification.

          ( * * *iikk)  "Registry identification card" means a document issued by the MDOH that identifies a person as a registered qualifying patient, nonresident registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver.

          ( * * *jjll)  "School" means an institution for the teaching of children, consisting of a physical location, whether owned or leased, including instructional staff members and students, and which is in session each school year.  This definition shall include, but not be limited to, public, private, church and parochial programs for kindergarten, elementary, junior high and high schools.  Such term shall not mean a home instruction program.

          ( * * *kkmm)  "Scope of practice" means the defined parameters of various duties, services or activities that may be provided or performed by a certified nurse practitioner as authorized under Sections 73-15-5 and 73-15-20, by an optometrist as authorized under Section 73-19-1, by a physician as authorized under Section 73-25-33, or by a physician assistant under Section 73-26-5, and rules and regulations adopted by the respective licensing boards for those practitioners.

          ( * * *llnn)  "THC" or "Tetrahydrocannabinol" means any and all forms of tetrahydrocannabinol that are contained naturally in the cannabis plant, as well as synthesized forms of THC and derived variations, derivatives, isomers and allotropes that have similar molecular and physiological characteristics of tetrahydrocannabinol, including, but not limited to, THCA, THC Delta 9, THC Delta 8, THC Delta 10 and THC Delta 6.

          ( * * *mmoo)  "Written certification" means a form approved by the MDOH, signed and dated by a practitioner, certifying that a person has a debilitating medical condition.  A written certification shall include the following:

                    (i)  The date of issue and the effective date of the recommendation;

                    (ii)  The patient's name, date of birth and address;

                    (iii)  The practitioner's name, address, and federal Drug Enforcement Agency number; and

                    (iv)  The practitioner's signature. 

     SECTION 14.  Section 41-137-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-137-9.  (1)  There is a presumption that a registered qualifying patient is engaged in the medical use of medical cannabis under this chapter if the person is in possession of a registry identification card and an amount of medical cannabis that does not exceed the allowable amount of medical cannabis.  There is a presumption that a registered designated caregiver is assisting in the medical use of medical cannabis under this chapter if the person is in possession of a registry identification card and an amount of medical cannabis that does not exceed the allowable amount of medical cannabis.  These presumptions may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to medical cannabis was not for the purpose of treating or alleviating a registered qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the registered qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition under this chapter.

     (2)  Subject to the conditions, limitations, requirements and exceptions set forth in this chapter, the following activities related to medical cannabis shall be considered lawful:

          (a)  The purchase, transportation or possession of up to the allowable amount or medical use of medical cannabis;

          (b)  Financial reimbursement by a registered qualifying patient to the patient's registered designated caregiver for direct costs incurred by the registered designated caregiver for assisting with the registered qualifying patient's medical use of medical cannabis;

          (c)  Compensating a dispensary for goods or services provided;

          (d)  The provision, by a professional or occupational licensee, of advice or services related to medical cannabis activities allowed under this chapter, to the extent such advice or services meet or exceed the applicable professional or occupational standard of care;

          (e)  Providing or selling equipment used to ingest medical cannabis to a cardholder, nonresident cardholder or to a medical cannabis establishment;

          (f)  Acting as a designated caregiver to assist a registered qualifying patient with the act of using or administering medical cannabis;

          (g)  Activities by a medical cannabis establishment or a medical cannabis establishment agent that are allowed by its license and registration;

          (h)  Activities by a dispensary or a dispensary agent to possess, store or sell medical cannabis products, educational materials and products used to ingest medical cannabis to cardholders, nonresident cardholders and other dispensaries, or to purchase or otherwise acquire medical cannabis products from cannabis cultivation facilities, cannabis processing facilities, cannabis research facilities or other dispensaries;

          (i)  Activities by a cannabis cultivation facility, cannabis processing facility or agents of these facilities to:

               (i)  Possess, plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, produce, process, manufacture, compound, convert, prepare, pack, repack or store medical cannabis;

               (ii)  Purchase or otherwise acquire medical cannabis and cannabis products from medical cannabis establishments; or

               (iii) Purchase or otherwise acquire hemp-derived ingredients; or

               ( * * *iiiiv)  Sell, supply or transfer medical cannabis products, hemp-derived ingredients, equipment used to ingest medical cannabis, and related supplies and educational materials to other cannabis cultivation facilities, cannabis processing facilities or dispensaries.

          (j)  Activities by a cannabis research facility, a cannabis testing facility or agents of these facilities to:

               (i)  Purchase or otherwise acquire medical cannabis from medical cannabis establishments;

               (ii)  Purchase or otherwise acquire hemp-derived ingredients;

               (iii)  Possess, produce, process, compound, convert, prepare, pack, test, repack and store medical cannabis and cannabis products obtained from medical cannabis establishments; or

               ( * * *iiiiv)  Sell, supply or transfer medical cannabis, hemp-derived ingredients, educational materials and equipment used to ingest medical cannabis to cannabis cultivation facilities, cannabis processing facilities, cannabis testing facilities and cannabis research facilities.

          (k)  Activities by a cannabis transportation entity or a cannabis disposal entity to transport, supply, deliver, dispose of or destroy cannabis or hemp-derived ingredients, as applicable.

     (3)  Any medical cannabis, cannabis product, equipment used to ingest medical cannabis, or other interest in or right to property that is possessed, owned or used in connection with the medical use of medical cannabis as authorized by this chapter, or acts incidental to such use, shall not be seized or forfeited.  This chapter shall not prevent the seizure or forfeiture of medical cannabis exceeding the allowable amounts of medical cannabis, nor shall it prevent seizure or forfeiture if the basis for the action is unrelated to the medical cannabis that is possessed, processed, transferred or used pursuant to this chapter.

     (4)  Possession of, or application for, a registry identification card shall not:

          (a)  Constitute probable cause or reasonable suspicion;

          (b)  Be used to support a search of the person or property of the person possessing or applying for the registry identification card; or

          (c)  Subject the person or property of the person to inspection by any governmental agency.

     (5)  It is the public policy of the State of Mississippi that contracts related to medical cannabis that are entered into by cardholders, medical cannabis establishments, medical cannabis establishment agents and those who allow property to be used by those persons, should be enforceable to the extent that those activities comply with the other provisions of this chapter.  It is the public policy of the State of Mississippi that no contract entered into by a cardholder, a medical cannabis establishment, or a medical cannabis establishment agent, or by a person who allows property to be used for activities that are authorized under this chapter, shall be unenforceable on the basis that activities related to cannabis are prohibited by federal law.

     (6)  An applicant for a professional or occupational license shall not be denied a license based on previous employment related to medical cannabis activities that are allowed under this chapter.

     SECTION 15.  Section 41-137-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-137-11.  (1)  Each medical cannabis establishment shall use a statewide seed-to-sale tracking system certified by the MDOH to track medical cannabis from seed or immature plant stage until the medical cannabis is purchased by a registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver or destroyed.  Records entered into the seed-to-sale tracking system shall include each day's beginning inventory, harvests, acquisitions, sales, disbursements, remediations, disposals, transfers, ending inventory, and any other data necessary for inventory control records in the statewide seed-to-sale tracking system.  Each medical cannabis dispensary shall be responsible for ensuring that all medical cannabis sold or disbursed to a registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver is recorded in the seed-to-sale tracking system as a purchase by or on behalf of the applicable registered qualifying patients.  

     (2)  Amounts of medical cannabis shall be recorded in the following manner:

          (a)  For dried, unprocessed cannabis, in ounces or grams;

          (b)  For concentrates, in grams; or

          (c)  For infused products, by milligrams of THC.

     (3)  The seed-to-sale tracking system used by cannabis cultivation facilities, dispensaries, cannabis processing facilities, cannabis testing facilities, cannabis research facilities, cannabis transportation entities and cannabis disposal entities shall be capable of:

          (a)  Allowing those facilities and entities to interface with the statewide system such that a facility may enter and access information in the statewide system;

          (b)  Providing the MDOR and MDOH with access to all information stored in the system's database;

          (c)  Maintaining the confidentiality of all patient and caregiver data and records accessed or stored by the system such that all persons or entities other than the MDOR and MDOH may only access the information in the system that they are authorized by law to access; 

          (d)  Producing analytical reports to the MDOR and MDOH regarding the total quantity of daily, monthly, and yearly sales at the facility per product type; the average prices of daily, monthly, and yearly sales at the facility per product type; and total inventory or sales record adjustments at the facility;  * * *and

          (e)  The ability to determine the amount of medical cannabis that a registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver has purchased that day in real time by searching a patient registration number * * *.; and

          (f)  Incorporating hemp-derived ingredients purchased by medical cannabis establishments.

     (4)  Banks and other financial institutions may be allowed access to specific limited information from the seed-to-sale tracking system.  The information that may be available to these institutions shall be limited to financial data of individuals and business entities that have a business relationship with these institutions.  This information shall be limited to the information needed for banks to comply with applicable federal regulations and shall not disclose any medical or personal information about registered cardholders or designated caregivers.

     SECTION 16.  Section 41-137-39, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-137-39.  (1)  (a)  Medical cannabis establishments shall conduct a background check into the criminal history of every person seeking to become a principal officer, board member, agent, volunteer, or employee before the person begins working at or for the medical cannabis establishment.

          (b)  Every person seeking to become a principal officer, board member, agent, volunteer, or employee shall apply for or authorize the division to obtain state and national criminal background checks to be conducted by the Mississippi Justice Information Center of the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

          (c)  Such criminal background checks shall conform to the applicable federal standards, and shall include the taking of fingerprints.

          (d)  The applicant shall authorize the release of such criminal background checks to the MDOH, and shall be responsible for the payment of any fee associated with the criminal background checks.

          (e)  Upon completion of such criminal background checks, the Mississippi Justice Information Center of the Department of Public Safety shall forward to the MDOH all information obtained concerning the applicant.

     (2)  A medical cannabis establishment may not employ any person who:

          (a)  Was convicted of a disqualifying felony offense; or

          (b)  Is under twenty-one (21) years of age.

     (3)  The operating documents of a medical cannabis establishment must include procedures for the oversight of the medical cannabis establishment and procedures to ensure accurate record keeping and adequate security measures.

     (4)  A medical cannabis establishment shall implement appropriate security measures designed to deter and prevent the theft of medical cannabis and unauthorized entrance into areas containing medical cannabis.

     (5)  All cultivation, harvesting, processing and packaging of medical cannabis must take place in an enclosed, locked and secure facility with a physical address provided to the MDOH during the licensing and registration process.  The facility shall be equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access only by agents of the medical cannabis establishment, emergency personnel or adults who are twenty-one (21) years of age and older and who are accompanied by medical cannabis establishment agents.

     (6)  No medical cannabis establishment other than a cannabis processing facility or cannabis research facility may produce cannabis concentrates, cannabis extractions, or other cannabis products.

     (7)  A medical cannabis establishment may not share office space with or refer patients to a practitioner.

     (8)  Medical cannabis establishments are subject to inspection by the MDOR and MDOH during business hours.

     (9)  Before medical cannabis may be dispensed to a cardholder, a dispensary agent must:

          (a)  Require that the individual present a registry identification card;

          (b)  Make a diligent effort to verify that the registry identification card presented to the dispensary is valid;

          (c)  Make a diligent effort to verify that the person presenting the registry identification card is the person identified on the registry identification card presented to the dispensary agent; and

          (d)  Not believe that the amount of medical cannabis dispensed would cause the person to possess more than the allowable amount of medical cannabis.

     (10)  A medical cannabis establishment shall not sell more than the allowable amount of medical cannabis to a cardholder.  A resident cardholder shall not obtain more than a total of six (6) MMCEUs of allowable medical cannabis in a week from a dispensary or a combination of dispensaries.  A resident cardholder shall not obtain more than a total of twenty-four (24) MMCEUs of allowable medical cannabis in thirty (30) days from a dispensary or a combination of dispensaries.

     The possession limit for resident cardholders of the allowable amount of medical cannabis shall be a total of twenty-eight (28) MMCEUs.  There shall not be a possession limit on nonconsumable medical cannabis, including, but not limited to, suppositories, ointments, soaps, and lotions or other topical agents.

     (11)  For purposes of this chapter, total THC is defined as THCA multiplied by .877 plus THC Delta 9 and all other psychoactive forms or isomers of THC added together.  A medical cannabis establishment shall not sell cannabis flower or trim that has a potency of greater than thirty percent (30%) total THC.  A medical cannabis dispensary shall not sell cannabis tinctures, oils or concentrates that have a potency of greater than sixty percent (60%) total THC.  Cannabis products that have a potency of over thirty percent (30%) total THC shall be clearly labeled as "extremely potent."  Edible cannabis products, including food or drink products, that have been combined with usable cannabis or cannabis products shall be physically demarked and labeled with a clear determination of how much total THC is in a single-serving size and how much THC is in the entire package.

     A medical cannabis product shall contain a notice of harm regarding the use of cannabis products.  Edible cannabis products shall be homogenized to ensure uniform disbursement of cannabinoids throughout the product.  All molded edible cannabis products shall be presented in the form of geometric shapes and shall not be molded to contain any images or characters designed or likely to appeal to minors, such as cartoons, toys, animals or children.

     (12)  A dispensary may not dispense more than the allowable amount of cannabis to a registered qualifying patient or a nonresident cardholder, directly or via a registered designated caregiver.  Dispensaries shall ensure compliance with this limitation by maintaining internal, confidential records that include records specifying how much medical cannabis is being dispensed to the registered qualifying patient or nonresident cardholder and whether it was dispensed directly to a registered qualifying patient, nonresident cardholder or to the registered designated caregiver.

     (13)  A nonresident cardholder shall not obtain more than a total of six (6) MMCEUs of allowable medical cannabis in a week from a dispensary or a combination of dispensaries.  A nonresident cardholder shall not obtain more than a total of twelve (12) MMCEUs of allowable cannabis from a dispensary or a combination of dispensaries in a fifteen-day period.

     (14)  A nonresident may apply to receive a nonresident registry identification card up to thirty (30) days before arriving in Mississippi.  A nonresident registry identification card shall be valid for fifteen (15) days.  After the expiration of the card, a nonresident may apply for a renewal of the card and may be granted another card which shall be valid for another fifteen-day period.  A nonresident registry identification card shall only be valid, at a maximum, for two (2) separate periods of fifteen (15) days in a three-hundred-sixty-five-day period.  An applicant may indicate on his or her application the specific time period that he or she wishes for the card to be valid.  The possession limit of the allowable amount of medical cannabis for nonresident cardholders shall be fourteen (14) MMCEUs.

     (15)  A medical cannabis dispensary agent or employee shall not issue a written certification.  Employees and agents of a medical cannabis dispensary shall complete at least eight (8) hours of continuing education in medical cannabis as regulated by the MDOR in order to be certified to work at a medical cannabis dispensary.  After the first year of employment, these employees shall complete five (5) hours of continuing education in medical cannabis annually to maintain this certification.

     (16)  Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, a patient with a debilitating medical condition who is between eighteen (18) years to twenty-five (25) years of age is not eligible for a medical cannabis registry identification card unless two (2) practitioners from separate medical practices have diagnosed the patient as having a debilitating medical condition after an in-person consultation.  One (1) of these practitioners must be a physician or doctor of osteopathic medicine.

     If one (1) of the recommending practitioners is not the patient's primary care practitioner, the recommending practitioner shall review the records of a diagnosing practitioner.  The requirement that the two (2) practitioners be from separate medical practices does not apply if the patient is homebound or if the patient had a registry identification card before the age of eighteen (18).

     (17)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, a medical cannabis establishment shall not allow an individual who is younger than twenty-one (21) years old to enter the premises of the establishment unless the individual possesses a registry identification card and is accompanied by his or her legal guardian. 

     (18)  A medical cannabis establishment shall only purchase, grow, cultivate, and use cannabis that is grown and cultivated in this state.  Any medical cannabis that is grown and cultivated in this state shall not be transported outside of this state. 

     (19)  Employees of all medical cannabis establishments shall apply for a work permit with the MDOH and MDOR, as applicable, before beginning employment with any establishment.  The licensing agency for the respective medical cannabis establishment may issue work permits to these individuals.  These licensing agencies shall maintain a work registry of all applicants and work permits issued.  The fee for a work permit shall be Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) and the permit shall be valid for five (5) years.  Work permits shall be the property of the employee and shall not be transferable to other employees.

     (20)  For purposes of this subsection, "plant growth regulator cannabis" shall mean a cannabis plant whose growth and structure has been modified using plant growth hormones.  A cannabis cultivation facility shall not cultivate and a cannabis dispensary shall not sell, transfer or provide for consumption plant growth regulator cannabis.

     (21)  A medical cannabis dispensary shall only make sales to cardholders inside the dispensary.  A medical cannabis dispensary shall not sell or otherwise convey medical cannabis to a cardholder through the means of a drive-through, curbside delivery or other delivery outside the premises of the dispensary.  Any topical cannabis product that is purchased by a dispensary from a licensed processor, and that is not ingested by the liver, may be sold to a cardholder or any person over the age of twenty-one (21) years old who is not a cardholder.  Such products shall be placed in an area of the dispensary that does not require access with a registry identification card.

     (22)  Any and all contracts or agreements entered into by the MDOH and MDOR for information technology software, hardware, and/or services for the purpose of implementing and/or operating under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act shall include language reasonably limiting the ability of the vendor to escalate the ongoing cost of such software, hardware, and/or services during the term of the contract, including any amendments and/or extensions.

     (23)  The MDOR and MDOH shall not share the name, address or personal data of a registry identification cardholder to any federal government entity.

     (24)  Entities not licensed under this chapter are prohibited from selling intoxicating hemp products. 

     SECTION 17.  Section 41-137-45, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     41-137-45.  (1)  It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to cultivate, process, transport, use, possess, purchase, sell or transfer cannabis except as authorized by this chapter.

     (2)  A cardholder or medical cannabis establishment that purposely or knowingly fails to provide a notice required by Section 41-137-31 is guilty of a civil offense, punishable by a fine of no more than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00), which may be assessed and collected by the licensing agency.

     (3)  A medical cannabis establishment or an agent of a medical cannabis establishment that purposely, knowingly, or recklessly sells or otherwise transfers medical cannabis other than to a cardholder, a nonresident cardholder, or to a medical cannabis establishment or its agent as authorized under this chapter is guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than two (2) years, or both.  A person convicted under this subsection may not continue to be affiliated with the medical cannabis establishment and is disqualified from further participation in the medical cannabis program under this chapter.

     (4)  A cardholder or nonresident cardholder who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly sells or otherwise transfers medical cannabis to a person or other entity is guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of not more than Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than two (2) years, or both.  A person convicted under this subsection is disqualified from further participation in the medical cannabis program under this chapter.     (5)  A person who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly makes a false statement to a law enforcement official about any fact or circumstance relating to the medical use of cannabis to avoid arrest or prosecution is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than ninety (90) days, or both.  If a person convicted of violating this subsection is a cardholder, the person is disqualified from further participation in the medical cannabis program under this chapter.

     (6)  A person who purposely submits false records or documentation for an application for a license for a medical cannabis establishment under this chapter is guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than two (2) years, or both.  A person convicted under this subsection may not continue to be affiliated with the medical cannabis establishment and is disqualified from further participation in the medical cannabis program under this chapter.

     (7)  A practitioner who purposely refers patients to a specific medical cannabis establishment or to a registered designated caregiver, who advertises in a medical cannabis establishment, or who issues written certifications while holding a financial interest in a medical cannabis establishment, is guilty of a civil offense for every false certification and shall be fined up to Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) by the MDOH.

     (8)  Any person, including an employee or official of an agency or local government, who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly breaches the confidentiality of information obtained under this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment for not more than one hundred eighty (180) days in the county jail, or both.

     (9)  No person, other than a cannabis processing facility or its agents, complying with this chapter and the rules and regulations promulgated under it, may extract compounds from cannabis that involves a chemical extraction process using a nonhydrocarbon-based or other solvent, such as water, vegetable glycerin, vegetable oils, animal fats, steam distillation, food-grade ethanol, or hydrocarbon-based solvent carbon dioxide.  No person may extract compounds from cannabis using ethanol in the presence or vicinity of an open flame.  It shall be a felony punishable by commitment to the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for up to three (3) years and a Ten Thousand Dollar ($10,000.00) fine for any person to purposely, knowingly, or recklessly violate this subsection. 

     (10)  A medical cannabis establishment is guilty of a civil offense for any purposeful, knowing or reckless violation of this chapter or the rules and regulations issued under this chapter where no penalty has been specified, and shall be fined not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for each such violation by its licensing agency. 

     (11)  The penalties provided for under this section are in addition to any other criminal, civil or administrative penalties provided for under law, rule or regulation.

     (12)  In addition to peace officers within their jurisdiction, all law enforcement officers of MDOH and MDOR may enforce the provisions made unlawful by this chapter.

     (13)  It is unlawful for any person or entity to sell or transfer intoxicating hemp products to individuals in the State of Mississippi except as authorized by this chapter.  This shall not prohibit interstate commerce as allowed under federal law and Sections 69-25-201 through 69-25-223.

     (14)  A person or business entity that purposely, knowingly, or recklessly sells or otherwise transfers intoxicating hemp products to a person in the State of Mississippi without a license under this chapter is guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than two (2) years, or both.  A person convicted under this subsection is disqualified from further participation in the medical cannabis program under this chapter or the industrial hemp program under Sections 69-25-201 through 69-25-223.

     SECTION 18.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2024.


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