Mississippi is now the second Southern to approve cannabis oil for patients with seizures, joining Alabama, and the fifth overall. Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill into law today.
"The bill will help children who suffer from severe seizure disorders," Bryant said in a statement. "Throughout the legislative process, I insisted on the tightest controls and regulations for this measure, and I have been assured by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics that CBD oil (cannabidol) is not an intoxicant. The outcome is a bill that allows this substance to be used therapeutically, as is the case for other controlled prescription medication."
On Mar. 28, Mississippi's Senate voted in favor of the bill, which requires the National Center for Natural Products Research in Oxford to supply it, the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson to provide it and doctors to prescribe it. The Senate followed the House, which passed the bill on Mar. 27 by a 112-6 margin.
Cannabis oil is low in THC and high in CBD (cannabidiol). It's given orally mostly to children who suffer from epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Parents claim it significantly reduces seizure activity.
The five states to legalize CBD oil are Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Utah and Wisconsin. Bills are still pending in Minnesota, Louisiana and Tennessee. Georgia's legislature showed interest but ultimately passed on the bill.
Mississippi is one of 17 states with decriminalized marijuana.