Medical marijuana still faces hurdles in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. — Months ago, voters in Mississippi overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana, but the program outlined in the initiative still faces an uphill legal battle.

FOX13 found out the program also faces multiple obstacles that could delay it even if it makes it beyond the legal hurdles.

RELATED: Mississippi legalizes medical marijuana: What’s next and what can be learned from Arkansas

One of the hurdles Initiative 65 had to get by is an alternative program proposed by Sen. Kevin Blackwell of Southaven.

Initiative 65 calls for the program to be managed by the state health department and outlines what qualifies patients for medical marijuana.

Blackwell proposed, among other things, that the program be more managed by the state Department of Agriculture and Commerce. It didn’t outline what conditions would qualify patients to be eligible for medical marijuana. The statehouse tabled the bill two weeks ago.

Initiative 65 is still facing a legal battle in the supreme court with a lawsuit filed by the city of Madison, Mississippi.

In the suit, the City argues that the state ballot initiative process is antiquated and that Initiative 65 is written in such a way that it should never have been allowed on the ballot.

While the state program continues to be formed under the Department of Health, there could be serious delays there as well. The state has yet to set up a licensing system for the dispensaries, and time will be needed to grow the marijuana sold at the dispensaries.

All of these are things that are supposed to be in place by August 15. That is the deadline.