House, Senate leaders: Medical marijuana legislative session could be held in August

House, Senate leaders: Medical marijuana legislative session could be held in August

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House and Senate negotiators are expected to begin meeting next week to try to draft a medical marijuana compromise bill, and both sides say they believe the governor could call a special session in August for lawmakers to pass such a measure.

Sen. Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, who is leading the Senate’s efforts, on Wednesday repeated his expectation that an agreement can be reached soon, and that a special session could be called by mid-August.

Rep. Lee Yancey, who is drafting a House bill, said, “I don’t see why not, as long as we come to an agreement soon,” on an August session. Both Yancey and Blackwell said they’ve had informal discussions, but plan to start getting down to brass tacks next week.

The Senate Public Health Committee on Wednesday held its third – and likely final – hearing on medical marijuana as the Senate drafts a bill. The panel has heard from medical experts, cannabis business associations and officials from several other states with medical and-or recreational marijuana programs.

READ MORE: How regulated should Mississippi medical marijuana be?

But it appears lawmakers still have many issues to come to terms on with a medical marijuana program. Some lawmakers in both the House and Senate continue to question issues such as how strict regulations should be, whether smoking of cannabis should be allowed, whether to allow outdoor growing or only indoor and whether to allow cities to “opt out” of allowing dispensaries or other cannabis businesses.



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