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Mississippi and South Dakota Vote to Legalize Medical Cannabis

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Nov 04, 2020   
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Voters in Mississippi and South Dakota have passed state ballot measures to legalize medical cannabis.

These two regions will join the 33 US states and the District of Columbia that already permit medical cannabis use.

35 and counting

Alongside the issue of the presidential election, voters in Mississippi were faced with two other questions on their ballots: should medical cannabis be legalized? And, if it were, which legalization option, Amendment 65 or Amendment 65A, would they prefer?

The majority of voters opted for Amendment 65 – the less restrictive of the two – which proposed a state-licensed system of dispensaries to provide cannabis products to qualifying patients.

Under the new amendment, state officials should begin providing licenses for medical retailers no later than August 15, 2021.

In South Dakota, in a US first, voters approved medical and adult-use cannabis legalization proposals on the same ballot.

The medical cannabis initiative will change state law to allow patients living from debilitating conditions to possess and purchase up to three ounces (84 grams) of cannabis from a licensed dispensary. Resident cardholders will also be allowed to grow at least three cannabis plants for personal use.

Under the new measure, the state Department of Health has until October 29, 2021, to pass rules establishing the medical marijuana program. Patients should be issued registration cards by November 18 of the same year.

With South Dakota and Mississippi included, the US now consists of 35 states (and the District of Columbia) that have or will soon have legal access to medical cannabis.


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