Medical Marijuana

In addition to Steep Hill and Herbal Compliance’s unorthodox investment vehicles looking to enter Arkansas’ medical marijuana industry that is projected to grow to nearly $70 million in the next seven years, a host of other local and out-of-state investors, entrepreneurs and speculators also want to get in on the front end of the state’s newest hybrid healthcare sector.

Arkansas Department of Health
Arkansas Department of Health

The Arkansas Department of Health will begin accepting applications for medical marijuana patient cards at the end of the month, according to an agency news release. The cards will be distributed to qualifying patients and caregivers in order to allow the purchase of medicine from licensed dispensaries. The Health Department says it will distribute the cards approximately 30 days before medical marijuana is available for sale in the state. That could be next year.

Applications are now available for those who want to sell or grow medical marijuana in Arkansas under a new constitutional amendment legalizing the drug for some patients.

The Medical Marijuana Commission on Monday posted the applications for licenses to operate medical marijuana cultivation facilities and dispensaries. The commission is expected to accept applications from June 30 to Sept. 18.

All Eyes On Comey

Jun 9, 2017

The widely anticipated public testimony from fired former FBI Director James Comey spurs a political response in Arkansas. As Republican U.S. Senator Tom Cotton dines with the president, state Democrats chime in a critique of their across-the-aisle foes’ relationship with the Russia investigations.

Also on the program:

-Applications for Medical Marijuana retail and grow centers are about to roll in. We check in with the soon-to-be state pot industry.

-Neo-Nazis to rally in Batesville; 10 Commandments go up at the Capitol; and will state highways get a boost under ballot measure? A look at some other state political headlines.

-How did Sexism play into the 2016 presidential election. A poll from the University of Arkansas give us an answer.

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Arkansas officials say they anticipate that between 20,000 and 40,000 people will ask for permission to obtain medical marijuana.

The state Health Department's chief lawyer, Robert Brech, told a joint meeting of the Senate and House Public Health Committee on Monday that running Arkansas' medical marijuana program will cost about $1.5 million over the next year.

Medical marijuana registration cards will cost about $50. Under the proposed rules, an Arkansas driver's license or state ID will be required to obtain one.

The Arkansas Senate has again rejected an effort to ban smoking medical marijuana after opponents said the move undermines a voter-approved initiative that legalized the drug for people with certain ailments.

The Senate voted 15-11 Monday against the proposal to change the constitutional amendment voters approved in November legalizing medical marijuana to ban its smoking. The measure needs at least 24 votes to advance to the state House.

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In a new survey, Arkansas voters made it clear they prefer the implementation of medical marijuana to allow for smoking cannabis and not waiting for federal law to allow for statewide usage.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College poll asked 440 Arkansas voters for their preferences on two debates occurring at the state legislature regarding medical marijuana’s implementation. Voters approved the measure last November by a 53-47% margin. In the latest survey conducted Tuesday, Feb. 14, voters were asked:

Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said that contradictions between state and federal law regarding medical marijuana usage will ultimately be a decision that federal prosecutors must reconcile. In the interim, Rutledge is advising state lawmakers to follow through with their duties to incorporate a voter-approved amendment into Arkansas code.

Rutledge, who appeared on Talk Business & Politics on Sunday, explained her first opinion request on the medical marijuana dilemma.

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Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the first two medical marijuana bills into law Monday.

House Bill 1026 by Rep. Doug House, R-North Little Rock, extends the deadline for rule making from 120 days after the election to 180. It passed the Senate Jan. 19 after earlier passing the House.

Arkansas lawmakers have given their final approval to legislation delaying the launch of the state's voter-approved medical marijuana program.

The House on Thursday voted 91-0 for an amendment to the measure giving agencies until early May rather than March to finalize rules for the program. The Senate earlier Thursday approved the delay by a 27-0 vote.

The measure also delays the deadline for the state to begin accepting dispensary applications from June 1 to July 1. Supporters said the extra time is needed for the public to have input on the new rules.

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