- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Gov. Phil Bryant has signed into law a bill that raises penalties for synthetic marijuana.

A spokesman for Bryant says he signed Senate Bill 2169 on Thursday. The law, which takes effect July 1, raises penalties for growing, possessing, selling or trafficking synthetic cannabinoids. It classifies the synthetic drug in the same category as real marijuana.

Selling 10 or less grams of synthetic marijuana could earn a maximum $3,000 fine and maximum three years in prison. The penalties increase for larger amounts of the drug. Forty grams could earn a minimum $20,000 fine and prison sentence of between five to 20 years.

Possessing 10 grams or less would earn a $250 maximum fine for a first conviction. Fines increase for repeat offenders and for those convicted of possessing larger amounts.

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