State cannabis industry going through some growing pains

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – Medical Cannabis may be legal in Mississippi, but as with any new industry, there are growing pains – in more ways than one.

Many of those at this weekend’s CannaCon at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center said they are excited about the future but are realistic about the problems and what needs to be done to resolve them.

Cultivator and cannabis patient Mike Boyle of Columbus, Miss., is using CannaCon for networking, but also for education.

The Mississippi medical cannabis Industry is a tough gig, and he needs the right tools to stay the course.

“You know when you have the best product out there, it doesn’t matter if it’s from cars to air conditioners to anything,” Boyle said. “The best quality is always going to speak for itself.”

But he has his concerns. The biggest? There is more supply than demand.

“Our patient count has to come up to be able to meet the needs of the cultivators that we have in the state at the moment,” he said. “Everybody’s run and got to the starting line on this race right here. But who to we have to actually sell it to?”

Kaya Life of Gulfport is hoping to get more people into the system by streamlining the process.

“We determine whether or not you have a qualifying medical condition,” said clinician Dr. Demetrius Steele. “And then we are able to assist you with the application process with the Mississippi Department of Health.”

Experienced professionals like Damon Lippert of HTG Supply of Jackson, said those getting in need to be built to last the ups and downs of the industry.

“Focusing on efficiency, the right tools to decrease your labor demand, growing in such a way that you have a smooth labor curve,” he said.

And that’s where MegaStripper can help automate.

Owner Laurie Cantrell sees strong market possibilities in Mississippi, but there could be some pain with the gain.

“I don’t mean this ugly toward any of the states, but obviously, the states make more money the more licenses they sell, which is wonderful for the state,” she said. “But it’s not necessarily wonderful for the industry, particularly the smaller businesses.”

The Canadian-based dispensary office design firm, Sevenpoint Interiors, has worked with a lot of new markets.

“I think everybody has a starting point,” said Danielle Marzarella of Sevenpoint. “It will be a good market just like any other state that’s started in the medical space.”

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