Senate Mississippi approved an alternative bill for the medical marijuana program on Friday after failing to win a majority of three-fifths of the required votes early Thursday.
The bill was initially unpassed on Thursday night, with less than one vote to pass the Senate, with 30 votes in favor and 21 votes against in the final vote. In the second pass attempt, a vote was cast at 1:15 am, and some of the senators who attended the first vote were absent.
In this second round of voting, 30 votes were in favor and 19 votes were against.
Of those who missed the second vote, Senator Jennifer Brunning (R) and Tammy Witherspoon (D) both voted against the bill in the first vote, Senator Lydia Chasanior (R). Voted for the bill. Senator Benjamin Schuber (R), who was absent from the first round of voting, replaced her vote in the second round.
Mississippi Medical Marijuana Initiative Changes
The purpose of Bill 2765 is to impose a 4% excise tax on cultivation and a 7% sales tax paid by patients on medical marijuana. This is down from the original 10% proposed by the Mississippi Voter Medical Cannabis Legalization Initiative. It passed in November last year.
In addition, grower and pharmacy license fees have been reduced from $ 100,000 for growers and $ 20,000 for pharmacies to $ 15,000 and $ 5,000, respectively.
What’s Next for Cannabis Legalization in Mississippi?
When Bill 2765 passes the Senate, it goes to the House of Representatives, where its future remains uncertain.
The bill passed the Senate vote last week, but Madison’s request to the Mississippi Supreme Court came about four months ago to dismiss the medical marijuana legalization initiative.
The Governor of Mississippi was also a critic of the initiative’s voice, claiming that the “most liberal weed rules” proposed by the initiative were being promoted by “Stoner.”
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Republican senators have been forced to rethink their views on marijuana reform with continued voter support, the Senator said.