Mississippi has a long history of making any progress towards cannabis legislation. The state was excited to see that Mississippi was moving towards aligning with the federal stance of the Farm Bill of 2018. But it was a bust; they made the first move to produce hemp and CBD legal—but then froze. The stalling has made it, so Delta-8 THC isn’t legal; by law, it still is classified as a Schedule I drug like Delta-9 THC (traditional marijuana). It’s almost as if they’re waiting for a “gotcha” moment like Texas, waiting for those who don’t understand federal and state regulations to make a move.
After learning that Mississippi is a state where neither delta-8 nor delta-9 is legal, I grew curious why? Sometimes, the idea of this industry doesn’t quite click. The sight of THC will cause people to write it all off as drugs, that those who participate are no good criminals. A hot topic has been whether or not consumption affected productivity on job sites. This, of course, was more leaning toward the negative impacts—labor supply, work comp, and day-to-day success. In several instances, it improved the workplace.
So, at this time—residents are hoping that Mississippi will make the necessary adjustments to their Controlled Substances Act. Until then, Delta-8 THC will remain illegal. Often, some may think that there is decriminalization of Delta-8 THC from the get-go; that is incorrect. There are no limits to its possession, you have it, and it’s illegal—then you face the exact charges as someone caught with marijuana.
It wasn’t until the 2020 vote on Proposition 65 that led to change, decriminalizing the first offense to a fine that maxes out at $250 and setting medicinal into motion. With over 1.3 million votes, the updated 2021 revision of this initiative included the treatment of 22 conditions. It was a massive move for the state. But then Lawmakers denied the voter-approved medical initiative because it was “outdated.” This killed the initiative before it set its feet on the ground. So now, the state must refer to the Senate Bill No. 2725, particularly Section 2 and Section 13.
SCHEDULE I(d) Hallucinogenic substances. Unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture or preparation which contains any quantity of the following substances, their salts, isomers (whether optical, positional, or geometric) and salts of isomers, whenever the existence of these salts, isomers and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation:(23) (A) Marijuana (Hemp, as defined and regulated under Sections 1 through 11 of this act and Cannabidiol contained in a legend drug product approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration or obtained under Section 41-29-136 * * *, are exempt under Schedule I);(31) Tetrahydrocannabinols, meaning tetrahydrocannabinols contained in a plant of the genus Cannabis (cannabis plant), as well as the synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in the cannabis plant, or in the resinous extractives of such plant, and/or synthetic substances, derivatives, and their isomers with similar chemical structure and pharmacological activity to those substances contained in the plant such as the following:(A) 1 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol;(B) 6 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol;(C) 3,4 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol.
What is interesting is hemp is still acceptable to sell by law. So, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 makes it okay to proceed with hemp and CBD products. Unfortunately, though, at the moment—Mississippi is at a stand-still. We are hitting the corner where we have to start thinking of the long run with states that have yet to make Delta-8 THC or Delta-9 THC legal. This would mean that federal laws would have to adjust. But now, it seems less likely due to the recent events that have been going on in California, where the black market has forced the state to drop its hikes on taxes in order to compete. The next few years will be interesting for both traditional and Delta-8 THC.