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Mississippi cannabis consultants


Cannabis Consultant Insights

Introduction to Mississippi Cannabis

Mississippi Cannabis Consultant Insights

Introduction to Mississippi Cannabis

Mississippi's journey to cannabis legalization has been marked by a combination of advocacy and legislative efforts, reflecting a growing acceptance of medical cannabis within the state. In 2020, Mississippi voters passed Initiative 65, legalizing medical cannabis for patients with qualifying conditions. This move laid the groundwork for establishing a regulated medical cannabis program under the Mississippi Department of Health.

The performance of cannabis businesses in Mississippi is still in its early stages, given that the regulatory framework and licensing processes are relatively new. However, there is significant potential for market growth. According to industry projections, the Mississippi medical cannabis market could generate substantial earnings as patient registration and business licensing progress.

History of Cannabis Regulation in Mississippi

Mississippi's cannabis regulation history reflects a gradual shift towards acceptance and regulation, driven by public demand and evolving medical research. The establishment of a comprehensive medical cannabis program marks a significant milestone, offering relief to patients and laying the groundwork for future developments in the state's cannabis industry. For those interested in entering the Mississippi cannabis market, staying informed about regulatory changes and compliance requirements is essential for success. Mississippi's journey to cannabis legalization and regulation has been a complex and evolving process, influenced by shifting public opinions, medical research, and legislative actions. Here is a detailed history of cannabis regulation in the state:

Early History

1978 - Early Medical Use Legislation
In 1978, Mississippi was one of the first states to pass a law allowing the therapeutic use of cannabis. The law permitted research institutions to use cannabis for medical purposes under strict regulatory conditions. However, this legislation had little impact on broader cannabis policy or public access.


The Road to Medical Cannabis Legalization

2014 - Harper Grace’s Law
Named after a young girl with severe epilepsy, Harper Grace’s Law was passed in 2014. This law allowed the use of low-THC cannabis oil for treating debilitating epileptic conditions. Specifically, it permitted the use of CBD oil with no more than 0.5% THC for patients suffering from severe epilepsy, provided it was recommended by a licensed physician.


2020 - Initiative 65
In November 2020, Mississippi voters approved Initiative 65, a citizen-driven ballot initiative to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program. The initiative received overwhelming support, with 74% of voters in favor. Initiative 65 allowed patients with one of 22 qualifying medical conditions to access medical cannabis with a physician’s certification. The initiative mandated the creation of a regulatory framework for the cultivation, processing, and dispensing of medical cannabis within the state.


2021 - Legislative Challenges and Supreme Court Ruling
Following the passage of Initiative 65, the Mississippi State Legislature introduced Initiative 65A, a competing measure, which aimed to impose more restrictive regulations on the medical cannabis program. However, in May 2021, the Mississippi Supreme Court invalidated Initiative 65 on a technicality related to the signature collection process. This decision effectively halted the implementation of the medical cannabis program approved by voters.


Revival and Implementation

2022 - Legislative Action
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling and public demand for medical cannabis, the Mississippi Legislature took action. In 2022, Senate Bill 2095, also known as the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, was passed and signed into law by Governor Tate Reeves. This legislation re-established a medical cannabis program, incorporating many elements from Initiative 65 but with additional regulatory oversight and restrictions.

2023 and Beyond
As of 2023, the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program is fully operational, with ongoing efforts to refine and improve regulatory processes. The state continues to develop its cannabis industry, focusing on ensuring patient access, maintaining regulatory compliance, and promoting public health and safety.

Legal Framework

Mississippi currently permits medical cannabis use. The pivotal vote for legalization occurred in November 2020 with the passage of Initiative 65. This initiative allows qualified patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis over a 14-day period. The state has established specific tax rates for medical cannabis transactions, although these rates may vary based on legislative updates. 

Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program
The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program, overseen by the Mississippi Department of Health, provides a structured regulatory framework for medical cannabis in the state. Key aspects of the program include:

  • Qualifying Conditions: Patients with one of the specified qualifying conditions can obtain medical cannabis with a physician’s certification.

  • Licensing and Regulation: The program outlines the licensing requirements for cultivators, processors, transporters, testing facilities, dispensaries, and waste disposal services.

  • Patient Access: Patients are allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis over a 14-day period from licensed dispensaries.


Cannabis Licenses in Mississippi

Mississippi offers several types of cannabis business licenses, each with specific definitions and allowable activities:



  • Definition: Licensed to cultivate cannabis plants.

  • Activities:

    • Growing cannabis within a designated facility.

    • Harvesting cannabis plants.

    • Selling cannabis to licensed processors and dispensaries.



  • Definition: Licensed to process cannabis into various products.

  • Activities:

    • Extracting cannabinoids.

    • Manufacturing cannabis products (edibles, oils, etc.).

    • Distributing products to dispensaries.



  • Local Freight: Licensed to transport cannabis within the state.

    • Activities:

      • Transporting cannabis between licensed facilities.

  • Long Distance: Licensed for interstate transport where legal.

    • Activities:

      • Transporting cannabis and cannabis products over long distances within legal boundaries.


Testing Facility

  • Definition: Licensed to conduct quality control and safety testing.

  • Activities:

    • Testing cannabis for potency, contaminants, and quality assurance.



  • Definition: Licensed to sell cannabis products to qualified patients.

  • Activities:

    • Operating a retail location.

    • Selling cannabis products to registered patients.


Waste Disposal

  • Definition: Licensed to dispose of cannabis waste.

  • Activities:

    • Handling and disposing of cannabis plant waste and byproducts.


Limitations on Operating Cannabis Businesses in Mississippi

Mississippi imposes certain limitations on cannabis business operations. License holders can own or invest in multiple licenses, but the specific number and types of licenses they can hold are regulated to prevent monopolies and ensure fair market competition. Owners may possess different types of licenses, such as cultivation and processing, but must comply with state regulations regarding cross-ownership.


Social Equity in Mississippi Cannabis Businesses

Mississippi's cannabis licensing process includes social equity provisions to support historically disadvantaged communities. Social equity applicants must meet specific criteria, such as having lived in disproportionately impacted areas. A certain percentage of licenses are reserved for social equity applicants, who must own a significant portion of the business to qualify.


Business Competition

Mississippi's cannabis market is poised to be competitive due to a combination of factors. The state's population, the introduction of medical cannabis, and a structured licensing system create a balanced yet competitive environment. The limited number of licenses and the influx of entrepreneurs and investors contribute to a dynamic market landscape. Given the state's population and the anticipated number of tourists, the market offers substantial opportunities for well-prepared businesses.


SWOT Analysis of Mississippi as a Cannabis Market

By understanding these strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, cannabis businesses in Mississippi can better navigate the complex landscape, capitalize on growth opportunities, and mitigate potential risks.


Strengths refer to the internal attributes and resources that give an organization a competitive advantage. These can include aspects like a strong brand reputation, proprietary technology, skilled workforce, and superior product quality. In a business context, strengths are what the company does well and are its positive attributes.

  • Growing Market: Significant potential for market expansion.

  • Regulatory Framework: Clear guidelines established by the Mississippi Department of Health.

  • Social Equity: Initiatives to support disadvantaged communities.



Weaknesses are the internal factors that place an organization at a disadvantage relative to competitors. These can include a lack of capital, poor location, insufficient technology, or weak brand recognition. Identifying weaknesses is crucial for understanding areas that need improvement within the organization.

  • High Entry Costs: Substantial financial requirements for licenses and startup.

  • Complex Regulations: Navigating the application process can be challenging.



Opportunities are external factors that an organization can capitalize on to achieve its goals. These can include market growth, technological advancements, favorable industry trends, and changes in regulations. Opportunities are areas where the company can leverage its strengths to achieve growth and success.

  • Market Growth: Expanding patient base and increasing acceptance.

  • Innovation: Opportunities for product diversification and new business models.



Threats are external factors that could cause trouble for an organization or project. These can include new competitors, changes in market demand, regulatory changes, and economic downturns. Threats represent potential challenges that could impede the organization’s performance and require proactive management.

  • Regulatory Changes: Potential for evolving regulations that could impact businesses.

  • Competition: High level of competition due to limited licenses and market interest.

Legal Framework
Types of Mississippi Cannabis Businesses
Limitation on Operations
Social Equity
Market Competition
SWOT Analysis
History of Mississippi Cannabis

How to Apply for a Cannabis Business License in Mississippi

Get Organized

Set Up Your Organizational Structure Organize your application process by creating a structured folder system on your desktop. This will help you keep track of all the necessary documents, forms, and information. Reference this guide for setting up your application folder.


Register Business in Mississippi

Register Your Business with the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office Register your business as a corporation, Inc., or LLC with the Mississippi Secretary of State to obtain your business license and articles of organization or incorporation. You cannot apply for a cannabis business license without first having a state business license.


Know the Regulations

Download and Review Mississippi Cannabis Regulations The Mississippi Department of Health oversees the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program and cannabis businesses in the state. The primary regulation is the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act. Familiarize yourself with all relevant regulations, including those for work permits, medical testing facilities, advertising, marketing, and proposed regulations for commercial dispensal, transportation, and registry ID cards.



Download and Complete Required Forms Download and complete the necessary forms for your Mississippi Cannabis Business License application. Save these forms in your application folder. Refer to the guide on organizing your application folder for detailed instructions.


Required Forms:

  • Waiver of Minimum Distance Requirements

  • Waiver and Authorization to Release Information

  • LiveScan Fingerprint Information Form



Select a Location for Your Cannabis Business Choose a location that complies with local jurisdiction laws. Ensure the county/city allows cannabis businesses and that your site plan meets distance requirements. Avoid locations within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, or child care facilities unless a waiver is granted. Even with a waiver, the facility cannot be within 500 feet of these establishments.


Background Check

Background Checks for Owners and Agents Owners or agents owning 10% or more of the business must undergo a background check with the Mississippi Department of Health. Background checks are processed through the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the FBI. Schedule an appointment for LiveScan fingerprinting and bring a completed LiveScan Fingerprint Information form and photo ID.


NAICS Facility Codes for Mississippi Cannabis Business License Types

The NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes are standardized codes used across the United States, Canada, and Mexico to classify businesses by their economic activities. These codes are intended to be universal and consistent across states. However, while the core codes themselves do not change, some states may have specific subcategories or additional regulatory nuances within those codes that align with their local laws and regulations.

  • Cultivator/Grower: 111419

  • Processor/Wholesaler: 424590

  • Transporter (local freight): 484200

  • Transporter (long distance): 484230

  • Testing Facility: 621511

  • Dispensary: 453998

  • Waste Disposal: 562211


Local Rules

Check Local Ordinances, Permits, & Opt-Out Status Verify whether your chosen locality allows cannabis businesses. Contact city or county regulators to confirm and obtain an official letter of approval. Keep messages concise and to the point.


Example Message:

Hello, My name is {Name}, and I am applying for a {cannabis business type} in {City or county name}. The address we plan to use is {insert address}. I am reaching out to confirm that the jurisdiction allows cannabis businesses and to connect with the appropriate approval authority. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Name Company Name Email Phone



Complete and Sign Waivers Complete and sign the required waivers for your cannabis business license application and save them in your application folder.

Obtain Data

Contact Local Utilities for Load Data Cannabis businesses may significantly impact local resources. Contact the local water, electricity, and gas companies to acquire load data for your proposed location. Keep your request concise.

Example Message:

Hello, My name is {Name}, and I am applying for a {cannabis business type} in {City or county name}. The address we plan to use is {insert address}, approved by {City and/or county regulatory board name}. I am reaching out to start the process of acquiring {water/gas/electricity} load data for this location. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Name Company Name Email Phone


Prepare Business Information.

Ensure you have the following business information ready:

  • Business Name

  • Business Type

  • Trade Name (DBAs)

  • FEIN or Social Security Number (if sole proprietor)

  • Secretary of State ID

  • Start dates for hiring and licensure activities

  • Business contact details


Prepare Ownership Information

Gather the following information for each owner:

  • Name

  • Date of Birth

  • Social Security Number

  • Adjusted Gross Income

  • Contact details

  • Ownership percentage

  • Passport photos


Compile Business Documents

Prepare and organize the necessary business documentation:

  • Articles of incorporation and business license

  • Evidence of local approval

  • Inventory control, storage, and diversion prevention plans

  • Recordkeeping, safety, and security plans

  • Site plan and standard operating procedures


Standard Operating Procedures

Customize Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Acquire and customize the necessary SOPs for your application. These include plans for inventory management, staffing, customer education, security, delivery, age verification, record keeping, recall, and labor.


Work Cards

Apply for Work Cards Owners and agents must apply for work cards, which are essential for operating or working in a cannabis business. Ensure all required information is prepared for the application.


Mississippi Cannabis Consultants

Applying for a cannabis business license in Mississippi can be a complex process, but following these steps can make it manageable. Whether you're just starting or need help with final touches, Cann Strategy can guide you through startup preparation, operational launch, and securing necessary licenses. Contact us today to ensure your application is complete and stands out in this competitive market.

How to apply for a cannabis business license
Mississippi Cannabis Consultants

Book a free call with one of our consultants.

Contact us to discuss Mississippi cannabis business consulting services.

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