Arkansas

Wed
22
May

Licensed medical cannabis sales begin in Arkansas

Qualified patients now have limited access to medical cannabis products, after the state’s first licensed dispensaries began making sales this week. Voters initially approved medical cannabis access by passing a statewide initiative in November 2016.

Fri
17
May

Medical cannabis edibles face restrictions In Arkansas

As Arkansas dispensaries continue to sell the first harvest of medical marijuana, cultivators and patients are looking toward edibles as the next stage of production.

Advocates say edibles are a more controlled way to consume the drug and that they think demand is high. It’s not clear when edibles might become available, what types will be produced or how much they will cost, but cultivators and dispensaries are limited in what kinds they can manufacture and how they can package them, said Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin.

Voters approved a medical marijuana amendment in 2016. Only two dispensaries, both in Hot Springs, are licensed and only one cultivator has harvested a crop, though two others expect to harvest their own this summer.

Mon
22
Apr

Medical marijuana sales in Arkansas set to start mid-May

With the harvest of the state’s first legal cannabis crop just days away, sales of medical marijuana in Arkansas should begin in mid-May, according to government regulators. Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin said on Friday that a dispensary in Hot Springs should receive final approval for its license to sell medical marijuana within the next two weeks and a second retailer in the city should be inspected in about a week. Eventually, there will be 32 licensed dispensaries to serve the state.

Thu
11
Apr

Arkansas Bill seeks to limit advertising of medical marijuana products

As the state’s first medical marijuana dispensaries gear up to open their doors, Arkansas legislators have been pondering just how they’ll be able to advertise their wares. On Tuesday, Governor Asa Hutchinson will be passing a bill that would curtail the places and people to which medical marijuana businesses are allowed to market.

Wed
03
Apr

Arkansas Lawmakers introduce Bill to decriminalize marijuana

State lawmakers in Arkansas introduced a bill on Monday that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Under the measure, House Bill 1972, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana would be considered a violation instead of crime and would be subject to a fine of not more than $200. Currently, possession of less than an ounce of cannabis is a Class A misdemeanor in Arkansas. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Charles Blake and Sen. Joyce Elliot and co-sponsored by Rep. Vivian Flowers, all Democrats.

Fri
29
Mar

BOLD Team will harvest first medical marijuana in Arkansas

From the outside, the $6 million BOLD Team medical marijuana cultivation facility looks a bit like a prison and smells like a skunk. A sniffing, and naive, reporter thought the smell was coming from its mammalian source just outside the concertina-wired fence that surrounds the nursery in a fallow field in the middle of Cotton Plant (Woodruff County), but a savvy photographer set her straight.

Things are brighter on the inside, with long rooms of healthy, green plants nurtured and tended scientifically, with special grow lights, thermostats and air measuring devices, and vats of varying mixes of liquid fertilizer. Fans to blow air over the plants, fans to remove exhaust. A laboratory and a Brandeis University-trained chemist. A computer monitor tracking humidity fluctuations.

Thu
07
Feb

Arkansas officially licenses 32 medical cannabis dispensaries

Arkansas regulators have announced that they have formally awarded all 32 licenses for cannabis dispensaries that will operate under the state’s medical marijuana program. Officials at the Department of Finance and Administration said on Tuesday that all 32 licensees approved last month paid the required $15,000 licensing fee and have posted a $100,000 performance bond. Scott Hardin, a spokesman for the department, said the dispensaries are now authorized to begin serving patients.

Fri
01
Feb

Will Arkansas’s medical marijuana program finally go into effect this year?

Though Arkansas voters passed Amendment 98 in 2016, which legalized medical cannabis in the state, Arkansas’s health department still hasn’t issued any official medical cannabis cards to struggling residents. Due to various legislative and regulatory delays, the state offered qualifying patients the option to attain a temporary medical cannabis license to use in Oklahoma.

 

Tue
29
Jan

Study shows legal access to marijuana reduces opioid overdoses

More than half of states have legalized marijuana either recreationally or medicinally, but there is still a stigma that cannabis is a gateway drug. That's what one professor at UA Little Rock believed, so he dug deeper into research and was surprised by his results.

“The whole topic itself is motivated by marijuana itself being a gateway drug," said Dr. Rhet Smith, Assistant Professor of Economics at UA Little Rock.

Growing up with a father in law enforcement and an ER nurse as a mother, Smith is familiar with the opioid crisis and the growing acceptance of marijuana.

"Topics of drug abuse weren't exactly foreign topics at our dinner table," Smith said.

In 2015, he began researching how local access to medical cannabis impacts opioid-related deaths.

Thu
10
Jan

Arkansas moves closer toward launching medical pot program

An Arkansas panel on Wednesday named 32 companies it intends to license to sell medical marijuana, two years after voters approved its legalization and following a series of delays that have frustrated patients and advocates.

The state Medical Marijuana Commission approved the scores from an outside consultant it had hired to evaluate about 200 applications for dispensaries. The companies must pay a $15,000 licensing fee and post a $100,000 performance bond before the licenses to sell the drug are formally issued. The commission last year awarded five cultivation licenses to grow medical marijuana.

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