Mississippi Agriculture Department Should Have No Role In Medical Marijuana Regulation, Commissioner Tells Lawmakers

MJ moment

The commissioner of Mississippi’s Agriculture and Commerce department really doesn’t want to be responsible for overseeing a medical marijuana program—and he reiterated as much in a letter to lawmakers on Thursday. Commissioner Andy Gipson (R) says that as long as cannabis remains federally illegal, he has no interest in having the department assume a regulatory role for any medical marijuana program that legislators enact. The legislature has been working to develop a system after the state Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved reform initiative in May. Gipson similarly wrote a letter to the state attorney general last month to express his opposition to having the department regulate medical marijuana, and he followed up to say the same in the new letter to legislators. “Notwithstanding what you may have been told or what may be represented in the future, I want you to know I remain adamantly opposed to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce having any role in regulating medical marijuana so long as marijuana remains a prohibited Schedule I Controlled Substance under State and/or Federal law,” the commissioner said. “Depending on the wording of the bill (a draft of which I have yet to be provided), not only would this proposal require me to violate my oath of office, but it also would fly in the face of the majority of voters who passed Initiative 65 with no regulatory role for the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce,” he continued. Under the voter-approved initiative, regulatory responsibility for medical cannabis would have been given to the state Health Department, which also said it didn’t want to play that role and expressed opposition to the proposal. The court ruled in May, however, that Initiative 65 could not be enacted because of procedural rules for placing measures on the ballot. Lawmakers have…

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Source : Mississippi Agriculture Department Should Have No Role In Medical Marijuana Regulation, Commissioner Tells Lawmakers

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