Mississippi has become the 37th state to legalize cannabis in the United States. The Mississippi state government has legalized medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions such as cancer, sickle cell disease, etc.
Mississippi voters decisively adopted a ballot initiative to establish a medical cannabis program in November 2020, paving the way for the state to legalize medical marijuana.
Patients can now get up to 3 ounces of cannabis per month, or 3.5 grams per day, under the recently approved law.
In this blog post, we’ll go through cannabis legislation, license types and how to get them, tax rates, and more.
Can I Open A Dispensary In Mississippi Right Now?
The Mississippi State Department Of Health is accepting licensure applications for medical dispensaries now. There will be a 30-day approval time for applications thereafter you will be able to open a cannabis dispensary.
The MSDH has also started accepting applications for:
- Medical practitioners
- Cultivation facilities
- Cannabis processing facilities
- Testing facilities
- Waste disposal entities
- Transportation entities
The state of Mississippi launched its medical cannabis sales program on January 25th, 2023, making it available to more than 1,700 patients who have registered.
168 dispensaries, 76 grow facilities, 14 processing facilities, 14 transportation firms, 3 disposal businesses, and 3 testing facilities have been authorized by the state’s Department of Revenue and Department of Health as of now.
Recreational cannabis is still illegal in Mississippi.
Your competitors in the space will include:
- The Canary Cannabis Dispensary
- DB Rocks Quality CBD
- Southern Re-Leaf
- Hemp World Jackson
- The Canaby Store
- Nectar Farms
- Simpli Hemp Dispensary
- Squid Inc.
- The Chill Factory and more
How Much Can You Buy?
Patients or their caregivers who meet the criteria can buy up to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day.
Current Cannabis Laws In Mississippi
- Cannabis in Mississippi is illegal for non-medical use.
- Smoking and vaping medical cannabis in a public place or in a motor vehicle are strictly prohibited.
- Qualifying patients or their caregivers can purchase up to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day.
- Medical cannabis can be acquired only by qualifying patients. They must have written certifications from two different practitioners.
- Plants must be cultivated indoors under controlled conditions.
- The qualified patient must be above 18 years of age.
- Dispensaries cannot be located within 1,000 feet of any church, school, or daycare facility.
- The law forbids a dispensary from being within 1,500 feet of another dispensary, and dispensaries are only permissible in commercially zoned areas.
- Medical cannabis dispensaries are only allowed to buy, grow, cultivate, and use cannabis grown and cultivated in Mississippi, and they are not allowed to transport it outside of the state.
How Much Cannabis Can an Adult in Mississippi Possess?
- Qualifying patients can purchase up to 3.5 grams of cannabis per day, up to six days a week. That is about 3 ounces per month.
- Plants must be cultivated indoors under controlled conditions.
Tax Rates In Mississippi
Every sale in Mississippi will be subject to a 7% sales tax, with the exception of sales of medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp, which will be exempt from taxation.
Expected Cannabis Market In Mississippi
Mississippi’s medical-use market is anticipated to be worth more than $6 million in its first year of sales. The market will reach $21 million in its second year, nearly double to $41 million in its third year, and nearly triple to approximately $66 million in its fourth year.
Types of Cannabis Licenses in Mississippi
The number of business licenses that may be granted is unlimited. There is a 10% ownership cap on the number of processing licenses, cultivation licenses, and dispensaries that any one person or company can own.
Following are the types of medical cannabis licenses processed in Mississippi:
Tiers of cultivation and processing licenses are based on the canopy size and amount of cannabis to be processed, respectively. Micro-cultivator and processor licenses, for example, have lower fees and are restricted to cultivating and processing smaller amounts of cannabis.
Medical cannabis dispensaries will be licensed by the Mississippi Department of Revenue (“MDOR”), while all other facilities will be licensed by the Mississippi Department of Health (“MDOH”).
- Cannabis Cultivation Licenses
- Cannabis Processor Licenses
Other Licenses Types
- Dispensary License
- Transportation Entity
- Disposal Entity
- Testing Facility
- Research Facility
How To Get A License
The Mississippi state government is accepting applications for licenses for dispensaries, cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities now.
Who Can Apply For A License?
- Patients and caregivers: to use medical cannabis under the guidance of a medical professional.
- Medical practitioners: to certify eligible patients for medical cannabis use.
- Facilities: to open cannabis cultivation, processing, and testing business.
- Services: to start cannabis transportation and waste disposal business.
How To Apply For A License?
Medical cannabis license forms are now available via the MSDH website. Regardless of application type, all applicants must first complete items 1-4 under the license pre-requisite tab on the MSDH website. It includes:
- PDF Link to read the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act
- Link to review regulations for specific licenses.
- Background check document.
- Requirements to acquire digital photos for the application.
Steps to apply for a cannabis license online:
- Register with MSDH portal
- Select the application type
- Verifying portal registration
- Start filling out the application
To know more about the cannabis regulations in Mississippi click here.
Mississippi Dispensary Fees
|Type of Fee||Amount|
|Non-refundable Application Fee||$15,000|
|Annual License Renewal Fee||$25,000|
What Else Do You Need to Open a Dispensary in Mississippi?
Understand Cannabis Laws In Mississippi
The federal government has enabled state governments to craft their own cannabis laws. Hence cannabis laws differ from state to state. If you want to open a dispensary in Mississippi you must understand the state laws and regulations to stay compliant.
Create A Solid and Scalable Business Plan
Every new company endeavor begins with an idea or inspiration. It could be all in your mind at first, or it could be a result of a chat you had with a potential business partner. Before you consider beginning a new business, you must first create a business plan. A robust BP must include the following points to help you to establish your cannabis business. It will also enable you to stay ahead of your competitors in the cannabis marketplace:
Define who you think will buy your goods or service such as medical cardholders, and certified patients. Provide as much information as possible. You may add demographic data such as gender, age, location, job title, and financial position, as well as behavioral data such as beliefs, hobbies, and routines.
Briefly describe the size of the target market. The reader may not recognize that this is a large enough market for a company to operate in.
A description of your market, specialization, and product or service need (supported by documentation). The market share percentage you foresee, as well as the findings of any marketing research data.
This is the section where you will request money for your company. If you are not currently seeking outside funding, you can skip this step.
Organization And Management
Your company’s legal structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.), important players, who is liable for what, and how much they will cost your company.
A summary of your company’s financial information is another part of a business strategy. Include information on where you’ll get your money, how you’ll pay your bills, and when you expect the company to start producing money.
You could engage a competent financial adviser to ensure your business plan is practical if you are not an expert in business finance and can afford the cost. If you can’t afford it, ask friends, co-workers, and other successful business owners what they think of your strategy.
If you intend to borrow money from other people or lenders, the financial predictions part of your business plan is especially critical. You’ll want to make sure they understand the costs, growth plans, and profit potential involved with your company. Investors and lenders will also want to know how and when you plan on repaying them.
Identify your competitors and how you will differentiate. Are you competing on price, customer service, quality, more convenient location, or something else?
Products And Services
Information on the cannabis items or services you intend to offer, as well as how they compare to those offered by your competitors.
Staffing Your Dispensary in Mississippi
The goal is to create a team that is aware of, understands, and is dedicated to the organization’s success. Building and maintaining such a team is difficult; it necessitates planning and dedication. To begin, you must ensure that you have the correct people on your team by conducting a thorough hiring process. Then, via recognition and ongoing growth, you must be able to keep those people engaged, focused, committed, and driven.
Choose Your Location With Care
What to consider when choosing a location for your dispensary in Mississippi:
- Cannabis dispensaries must be at least 1,000 feet away from any church, school, or daycare center.
- The law prohibits dispensaries from being located within 1,500 feet of one another, and dispensaries are only allowed in commercially designated areas.
Follow regulations to ensure that your cannabis application is not rejected on the aforementioned grounds, check with your local jurisdiction, and choose your location carefully.
Tech Integration With Leading Technology Partner
Successful cannabis businesses thrive on robust tech and security systems. Tech integration with a good tech partner enables:
- increased revenue streams
- financial savings
- improved data security
- better customer experience
- automation and productivity
Hence, once you get your license approval and you are ready to set the shop up, you must contact Cure8 tech experts. From scanners to tablets, computers, POS systems, surveillance systems, and much more, we have everything you need to complete your store’s tech implementation. We can plan and design your store from the ground up.
How Can Cure8 Help?
Cure8 is a one-stop tech solution provider for cannabis businesses. Our solutions can transform your business for the better. We collaborate with you to determine which IT services and solutions are best for your cannabis business. Cure8’s solutions and services include tech consultation, managed IT services, and custom hardware and software solutions.
Check out more about our solutions here.