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HB 1676: Its Cannabis Industry Implications and Its Impact on Mississippi

Updated: 2 days ago

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The landscape of hemp and cannabis in the USA is quickly changing, with one of the latest states making amendments to their laws being Mississippi. House Bill 1676 was introduced on February 19, 2024, and it aims to curtail the amount of THC present in consumable hemp goods, among other provisions.

HB 1676 also lays out the framework for the licensing and taxation of legal hemp products in the state of Mississippi. This bill would effectively limit the amount of THC in consumable hemp products (both individual and per package), to fairly lower levels.

Although the effect that this will have on the Mississippi hemp and cannabis market, as well as the hemp market in general, is yet to be seen, it’s safe to say that cannabis retailers and enthusiasts alike will see this as a step in the wrong direction.

Such severe limits on the types and amounts of cannabinoids that can be sold and purchased in Mississippi are bound to be a blow to the cannabis industry.

Key Takeaways

Summarizing the article, HB 1676:

  • Goes into effect on 1st July 2024.

  • Renames the "Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act" as the "Mississippi Intoxicating Hemp Regulation Act."

  • Changes the definitions for "consumable hemp product," "intoxicating hemp product," and "total THC".

  • Requires license holders to follow good manufacturing practices.

  • Reduces permissible THC concentration from 0.5% to 0.3%.

  • Outlaws the sale of any artificially derived cannabinoids.

  • Furthermore, products should not contain more than 0.5 mg per serving or 2.5 mg per package. CBD to THC ratios must be at least 20:1.

  • Restricts sales of consumable hemp products to those over 21.

  • Transfers administration from the Department of Agriculture and Commerce to the State Health Officer and Department of Health.

  • Mandates licensing for retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and processors

  • Mandates Certificate of Analysis (COA) and labeling authorized by the Department of Health

  • Imposes a 3% excise tax on consumable hemp products

  • Amends section 41-137-3 for the Mississippi code of 1972 to include intoxicating hemp products in the definition of "cannabis products."

  • Mandates licenses and prohibits unlicensed entities from selling intoxicating hemp products. Also requires licensed entities to provide a quarterly report to the department.

  • Requires products containing cannabidiol (CBD) to be tested in a DEA-certified facility.

  • Outlines penalties for unlawful sales

The Current State of Cannabis Laws in Mississippi

Just to summarize, at this time (not considering HB 1676), the cultivation, production, and sale of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products is legal in Mississippi. According to Senate Bill 2725, officially known as the Mississippi Hemp Cultivation Act (which came into effect in June 2020), residents of the state are allowed to purchase hemp-derived CBD oils and products so long as they do not contain more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.

Furthermore, in 2022, Mississippi approved Senate Bill 2095, also known as the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act. This act made it permissible for anyone over the legal age of 18 to purchase medical cannabis for a variety of medical conditions, with the bill imposing limits on the amount of cannabis that can be purchased on a weekly and monthly basis. However, at this time, adult-use or recreational cannabis is not legal in the state of Mississippi.

What is Mississippi House Bill 1676?

Mississippi House Bill 1676, also known as the Mississippi Intoxicating Hemp Regulation Act, was introduced in February 2024 and will come into effect on July 1, 2024. It contains several provisions that dictate the growth, production, and sale of hemp products in the state of Mississippi.

One of the most important components of this act is that it limits the amount of THC allowed in any hemp product, effectively eliminating the sale of any intoxicating hemp product in Mississippi (other than to those who have a medical cannabis license).  

This bill also defines THC, thus ensuring that there are no legal loopholes that might allow intoxicating cannabinoids to find their way into hemp-derived CBD products. As you will see below, HB 1676 also includes provisions regarding the taxation of hemp-derived CBD products, their licensing, and artificially derived cannabinoids.

What Are the Main Components of Mississippi House Bill 1676?

To keep things simple, there are several main components of Mississippi House Bill 1676 to be aware of, as well as the potential impact that they may have on the Mississippi hemp and cannabis industry.

HB 1676 outlaws the sale of any intoxicating hemp products for recreational use. Any hemp product which contains more than 0.5 mg of THC per serving is considered to be intoxicating. Any such product which is considered intoxicating may only be sold by business entities that are licensed under the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, and only to those that have a state-sanctioned medical cannabis card.

House Bill 1676 states that any consumable product may not contain more than 0.5 mg of THC per serving and no more than 2.5 mg of THC in total per package.

HB 1676 also states that CBD-derived hemp products must contain a THC-to-CBD ratio of at least 20 to 1. This is designed to encourage the purchase of CBD for its potential therapeutic benefits, as opposed to buying hemp or cannabis products with intoxication as the main aim.

Senate Bill 1676 also outlines that a 3% excise tax is to be placed on all wholesale consumable hemp products.

While there may have previously been loopholes that allowed forms of THC other than Delta-9 to be present in hemp products, HB 1676 aims to put a halt to this.

According to the bill, THC or "Total THC means any and all forms of tetrahydrocannabinol that are contained naturally in the cannabis plant, as well as synthesized forms of THC and derived variations, derivatives, isomers and allotropes that have similar molecular and physiological characteristics of tetrahydrocannabinol, including, but not limited to, THCA, THC Delta 9, THC Delta 8, THC Delta 10 and THC Delta 6.”

On that note, HB 1676 also outlaws the sale of any artificially derived cannabinoids.

House Bill 1676 also aims to increase the legal age at which hemp-derived CBD products can be bought from 18 to 21 years of age.

The bill also has provisions that state that any hemp producer found to be growing plants that exceed a 1% THC level on a dry weight basis is guilty of a felony and may be charged a fine of up to $10,000 or with a prison sentence of up to five years.

House Bill 1676 also states that every hemp product has to be tested in a DEA-certified facility to ensure that it meets THC potency and safety regulations. All products must also be clearly labeled with necessary information, which must be approved by the Department of Health. All products must also come with their certificates of analysis.

The Impact of HB 1676 on Mississippi and the Cannabis Industry

The impact that HB 1676 could have on Mississippi and the Cannabis industry as a whole is yet to be seen. However, based on the moves made by this bill, it would appear as though Mississippi is moving further away from the legalization of adult-use or recreational cannabis.

On that note, House Bill 1676 is also going to make it impossible for CBD and hemp retailers to sell misrepresented products, which is a good thing. Due to the way this new bill defines THC, it restricts any intoxicating cannabinoids, whether Delta-8, 9, 10, or other forms of THC, from being present in hemp-derived CBD products over 0.3%.

Previously, hemp-derived CBD products may have contained intoxicating levels of forms of THC other than Delta-9, but House Bill 1676 effectively puts an end to this. The goal is to totally outlaw the sale of any intoxicating cannabinoids for adult use, with only those with medical marijuana cards allowed to purchase products with elevated THC levels.

Just to put this in perspective, by 2028, the US cannabis industry is expected to reach annual sales topping $50 billion. Based on those numbers, it serves to reason that Mississippi will be missing out on much of the revenue that the cannabis industry can generate.

However, the additional 3% excise tax on wholesale products will bring more tax revenue to the state, although whether or not this is beneficial for the hemp and cannabis industry is questionable at best.

However, a positive outcome is that consumable hemp products must adhere to very stringent testing and labeling requirements, making them much more reliable, accurately labeled, and safe for the consumer.

To complement your knowledge on HB 1676, find out if cannabinoids like HHC are safe to vape or consume in the state of Mississippi.

Final Thoughts on HB 1676

Although Mississippi House Bill 1676 places some severe restrictions on the sale of hemp and cannabis products in the state, it also serves as a regulatory guide to ensure that all products are safe for consumption. It may seem very restrictive, but this kind of strict oversight helps to keep consumers safe, and it makes sure that you know exactly what you get with each consumable hemp product.

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