State issues medical marijuana dispensary license for Adams County

Published 4:18 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2022

NATCHEZ — The Highest Care LLC has been granted a license to operate as a dispensary for medical marijuana in Adams County, the first such issued in the county.

Tabitha Wroten, a real estate agent with River Park Realty and a registered nurse, is the sole owner of The Highest Care. The state granted the license to The Highest Care on July 26.

To date, the state has granted a total of 107 licenses related to the medical marijuana industry in Mississippi. Of the 107 licenses, one is for a transportation entity, one is for a disposal facility, seven are for cultivation facilities, two are for micro-cultivation facilities and three are for processing facilities. The remainder of the licenses issued thus far are for dispensaries around the state.

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Contacted Wednesday afternoon, Wroten said the process to earn the license was a difficult one.

Tabitha Wroten

“It was a lot to go through. First, you have to pay $40,000 up front,” she said.

She plans to locate her dispensary in one of the medical offices on Jeff Davis Boulevard in front of the old Community Hospital. The City of Natchez has created a medical business zone, which includes the area of Seargent S. Prentiss Drive in front of the Merit Health Natchez Hospital, Jeff Davis Boulevard and Highland Boulevard and has designated that medical marijuana dispensaries can only locate in those areas.

“This is not a smoke shop. It’s not like you walk in and buy marijuana,” she said. “It is only for people who have seen their doctor and been prescribed this medication for one of the qualified diagnoses.”

Wroten said the system put in place for obtaining medical marijuana in Mississippi is very restrictive.

“It’s more restrictive than a pharmacy like Walgreen’s and how they handle opioids,” she said.

That regulation begins when a marijuana seed is put into the ground to grow.

“Once the seed is put into the ground, it gets a number and is monitored. When it makes a flower, when it makes an edible. And it has to come from Mississippi. Dispensaries are regulated by the Mississippi Department of Revenue, the Mississippi Department of Health and the ABC,” Wroten said.

She said the medical marijuana that is produced in Mississippi would be tested for pesticides and heavy metals, as well as the amount of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the marijuana contains. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.

“As a registered nurse, I’ve seen it help many patients over the years and relieve symptoms other drugs did not,” Wroten said. “If you are interested and have one of the qualifying diagnoses, speak to your doctor about writing a prescription.”

After a patient has a prescription for medical marijuana from a physician, they then have to the Mississippi Department of Health online, where they will be issued a medical marijuana card from the state that will be good for one year.

Wroten said she could be open by Nov. 1, but that all depends on the availability of the Mississippi grown medical marijuana.

“I think we will have products available by Nov. 1, but it could be Dec. 1. No one knows. It is grown in and indoor facility. This is all new to these companies who are cultivators. We won’t know until it starts producing,” she said.

“Ours will be only a medical dispensary. You can’t even come inside the door without having a Mississippi medical marijuana card,” Wroten said. “The Highest Care will be a trusted healthcare partner following state guidelines and delivering the best in class customer service. We are dedicated to provide Mississippi patients premium medical therapeutic cannabis that is safe, reliable and effective. We plan to help make a difference in patients’ lives who are seeking relief in a natural form. Medical marijuana has many healing benefits.”