With the medical marijuana program still in its infancy in Mississippi, the state is already raking in revenue.
Through Monday, the state has culled nearly $6 million in license and one-time application fees from dispensaries, cultivators, transportation companies, processors, and testing operations in the state, according to information posted on the state’s Department of Health website.
While sales aren’t expected to begin until November, there are already 113 licensed dispensaries on file with the state’s Department of Revenue, the entity collecting fees and taxes.
The Department of Health did not respond to inquiries for this story.
The state has already gained $4.52 million in revenue from licensing and application fees for dispensaries through late September, and that revenue will only continue to rise once sales begin later this year. All told, just through licenses and fees, the state has collected $5.785 million.
When sales do begin, medical marijuana will be subject to a 7% state sales tax.
For the first year of the program, the state’s Department of Health has set up one-time fees of $40,000, which is comprised of a $25,000 license fee and a $15,000 nonrefundable application fee, for dispensary licenses. Yearly renewals are set at $25,000.
Dispensary licenses are good for one year, while cultivation licenses are good for just four months, which falls just beyond the 90-day gestation period for medical marijuana plants. Transportation, processing, and disposal license are also good for just four months.
For transportation licenses, there is a one-time application fee of $5,000 and a license fee of $7,500. The same fees are applied to disposal licenses.
That state has brought in $905,000 for cultivation licenses, $175,000 for processor licenses, $110,000 for micro-cultivation licenses, and $12,500 for disposal licenses; $37,500 for transportation businesses; and $25,000 for testing facilities.
Under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, known as Senate Bill 2095, which was signed into law on Feb. 2, patients will be able to acquire flowers, concentrated cannabis products, extracts, and other products infused with cannabis, which includes edibles, beverages, topical products, ointments, and oils.
Taxes under the law are set at 5% for cultivators when selling to dispensaries and 7% on sales at dispensaries to patients, according to the law.
Medical marijuana cards will be available to qualifying patients through the Department of Health, and carry a nonrefundable fee of $25, with the exception of veterans and disabled first responders, who will have fees waived. Medicare patients will pay just $15 for a card.
Qualifying conditions include cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
Also, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, sickle-cell anemia, Alzheimer’s disease, agitation of dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, pain refractory to appropriate opioid management, diabetic/peripheral neuropathy;
And also, spinal cord disease of severe injury, or the treatment of a chronic, terminal, or debilitating disease.
Patients, according to the law, will be permitted to purchase 21 grams per week and 84 grams per month. That works out to 2.96 ounces per month, and just 0.74 ounces per week.
Republished with the permission of The Center Square.