The head of the state's medical marijuana association thinks there's an eighty percent chance of getting a law passed this year in a special session.
"I'm an optimist, so I say eighty or ninety percent," said Ken Newburger, executive director of the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association.
Newburger said it was strange going from persuading hundreds of thousands of Mississippians to lobbying a much smaller group of legislators, but he feels the legislators want to respect the will of the people on this issue. He said many legislators believe in medical marijuana. Others are against it personally but want to respect the will of the voters.
A state law will differ from Initiative 65, which was overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court, Newburger said. It's likely the monthly maximum amount will be reduced from 5 ounces to 2.5 ounces. There may be an "opt out" feature allowing certain municipalities who don't believe it's right for them. There are likely to be more zoning restrictions and more opportunities for local governments to tax it.
Newburger believes legislators will adhere to the free market approach of Initiative 65 rather than limiting the number of growers and suppliers. He points out the Louisiana just expanded their medical marijuana program because the original program was too restrictive.