HERNANDO, Miss. — The state of Mississippi began accepting applications for its medical marijuana program on Wednesday, and doctors say patients are ready to sign up.

Dr. Timothy Quinn of Quinn Healthcare says medical marijuana is a game changer in the Magnolia State.

“A lot of Mississippians are excited, and this includes patients and providers,” Quinn said. “The reason for this excitement is there is a new tool where we providers can better help our patients.”

The owner of Trulife CBD & Dispensary in Hernando said he put in his application to sell medical marijuana Wednesday morning. There is a 30-day approval process for licensure applications.

Jimmy Cook lives in neighboring Arkansas, where medical marijuana dispensaries opened in 2019. He says he is glad Mississippi is getting its own program so people like him can get the medicine they need.

“It has helped me so much on anxiety, pain. It is a miracle drug,” Cook said.

The manager of Body and Mind Dispensary in Arkansas said patients have told him having access to medical marijuana has changed their life.

“It is helping them get off things that they have been on for a long time, to where we are helping them kind of make it through and pass their troubles that they are seeing,” Daniel Fortas said.

In 2021, Arkansas saw more than $250 million in medical marijuana sales. This year that number is expected to be even higher.

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Fortas says the more than $55 million in tax revenue has been huge for Arkansas.

“Improvements that we have seen over the past just two and a half years have been immense,” Fortas said. “New roads, new foundations are being built every day, school programs are being improved, and just the quality of life is just continuing to get even better.”

Later this month the Mississippi Medical Association is hosting a conference for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and optometrists to certify them so they can begin writing prescriptions.

“They are going to do everything they can to ensure that if a doctor is authorizing people to get medical marijuana, these doctors know what they are doing,” Quinn said.

You can find a link to Mississippi’s medical marijuana application page here.