Vicksburg board to review, act on medical marijuana ordinance

Published 12:31 pm Monday, May 16, 2022

Vicksburg’s proposed medical marijuana ordinance is coming before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on May 25, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said Monday.

Flaggs announced the decision to move forward with the ordinance prepared by City Attorney Kim Nailor at the close of the board’s meeting Monday morning.

The Mississippi Legislature at its recent session passed Senate Bill 2095, known as the “Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act,” which allows the production and sale of marijuana for medical use by people with qualified disabilities. Gov. Tate Reeves signed the bill in February.

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According to the bill, local governments had until May 3 to “opt-out,” or not participate, in the state medical marijuana program.

The board agreed in April to allow the sale of medical marijuana in the city. The Warren County Board of Supervisors also decided to stay in the state program.

“We’re going to do it,” Flaggs said after the Monday meeting, adding the ordinance “looks good to me; it’s tight. I think it’s a safe product and it’s going to be good for retail.

“It’s going to be a win-win. It’s going to be good for retail and it’s going to be good for health care,” he said. “I’m willing to try it.”

Flaggs said Nailor did a good job preparing the bill.

“She did a great job making certain it was tight and it has great oversight,” he said.

The proposed ordinance restricts the hours of operation of a medical cannabis dispensary to from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and prohibits medical cannabis establishments from operating within 1,000 feet “from the nearest property boundary line of a school, church or child care facility.”

Medical cannabis dispensaries cannot be located within 1,000 feet of the main entrance of another medical cannabis dispensary and cannot share office space with, or refer patients to, a medical practitioner.

Drive-thru, curbside pickup or delivery services are prohibited.

The ordinance restricts who medical marijuana dispensaries can hire and restricts the age of customers to 21 years old or older unless they possess a registry identification card identifying them as a registered qualifying patient, nonresident registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver and are accompanied by a legal guardian.

Medical marijuana dispensaries, research facilities and testing facilities are restricted to the city’s C-4 commercial zones, while cannabis cultivation facilities, cannabis micro-cultivation facilities, cannabis processing and micro-processing facilities are restricted to light industrial zones.

Cannabis cultivation and micro cultivation facilities are restricted to agricultural zones.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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