Medical Marijuana

Bill Essert hasn't lived in Arkansas in years. He's a businessman for an agriculture technology company in Cotati, California — BioTherm.

"What we do, we’re showing two things, the O2 Tube, which is all about dissolved oxygen and enhancing the amount of dissolved oxygen by infusing oxygen into your irrigation water, and the benefits of this is enhancing growth, plant growth, higher yields, less fungus and more yield for the amount of bud as well as higher levels of THC."

His parents still do, though. Live in Arkansas, that is — Conway. 

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Arkansas employers are running out of prep time before medical marijuana becomes available, so it’s crucial to begin now defining internal policies and procedures, said Little Rock attorney J. Bruce Cross of Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus.

More Arkansans disapprove of the state’s effort to implement medical marijuana than approve of the effort to launch the industry in the Natural State. The question is: are these voters opponents who voted against the measure or supporters who want a faster pace?

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Potential operators of medical marijuana cultivation facilities and dispensaries came together at a half-day symposium in Little Rock Wednesday to discuss their expectations of what the new industry will be like.

Among the attendees was TV host Montel Williams, who gave the keynote address at the event organized by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association. Williams has multiple sclerosis, and has long advocated for medicinal cannabis use. His visit had added significance, since he recently accepted a position on the association’s board.

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Would-be growers and distributors of Arkansas' initial medical marijuana crop have flooded a state office building waiting for their turn to submit applications.

Ahead of Monday afternoon's deadline, there was about a three-hour wait for applicants at the Department of Finance and Administration Building. Agency spokesman Scott Hardin said that before noon, the office had distributed paperwork to more than 100 groups or individuals. Fewer than half the applicants had been called in for clerks to review paperwork to ensure it was in order.

With one week before a deadline for entities to apply for licenses to cultivate and dispense medical marijuana, officials still haven't received as many applications as expected.

As of midday Monday, Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin said 27 applications for dispensaries had been received. That’s five fewer than the 32 officials expected to be approved, though more applications are expected in the coming days.

11 applications for cultivation facilities have been received, with five to be approved.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has not yet received applications for pot-growing and cultivation facilities as of Wednesday, and there have only been two submissions to locate a cannabis dispensary within the state less than three weeks before the state’s legislature-approved deadline

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The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association has named a Fayetteville physician as the chairman of its board of directors.

The association says in a statement Monday that Dr. Regina Thurman would replace Dr. Steve Cathey on the board. The group says Cathey chose not to serve on its board to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest with his position as chairman of the Arkansas State Medical Board.

The group says it'll be a "leading voice" for cultivators, distributors and business serving the medical marijuana industry.

Second Arkansas Medical Marijuana Industry Group Formed

Aug 10, 2017

A new pro-medical marijuana association has been formed that includes as board members a former Arkansas attorney general and the author of the amendment that brought medical marijuana to the state. It is the second association claiming to represent the state’s upstart medical marijuana industry.

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Arkansans hoping to obtain medical marijuana can now apply for a patient card on the state Department of Health’s website. Prospective patients and caregivers can search through a page that includes instructions and resources detailing requirements for the application process. To apply online, patients and caregivers will need to have an email address, a written certification from their physician, a state-issued ID.  Applicants must pay a nonrefundable $50 fee.

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