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Medical marijuana brings new hopes, new risks to Arkansas

The changes medical marijuana brings to Arkansas will likely be less widespread than advocates hope or opponents fear, at least at first, recent history and research suggest.

The voter-approved constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana use will soon fall into place. The state plans to start taking license applications for shops to distribute marijuana products and cultivation facilities in July. The people who qualify to use and possess those products could be able to apply for the necessary state cards even sooner.


Arkansas: Emergency Medical Marijuana Rules to Take Effect May 8

The Arkansas Legislative Council leadership set in motion the key players in the state's new medical marijuana law from seed to sale.

The council's approval of emergency rules Wednesday allowed them go into effect Monday at noon as required by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016.

"Everybody knows what the rulebook is, how the game is going to be played," said State Rep. Doug House, R-North Little Rock, who crafted the legislation. 

Hopeful cultivation facility and dispensary owners are obtaining land, equipment and employment options, while doctors consider patient certification and pharmacists question how to dose the drug. 


Arkansas Governor Signs 12 Marijuana Bills, More on His Desk

A slew of bills modifying the state’s nascent medical marijuana program have been signed into law by Gov. Asa Hutchinson over the past two weeks.

One dozen marijuana-related bills recently saw the governor’s pen, and five more currently await his signature. Any bill modifying the voter-approved Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment must be approved two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House of the Representatives before it can be signed into law by the governor.


Arkansas House Rejects Bill to Ban Marijuana Edibles

The House on Monday rejected a bill to ban the manufacture or sale of medical marijuana in food or drink.

House Bill 1392 by Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Springdale, received 52 votes in support and 40 against. Because it would change a voter-approved constitutional amendment, it required a two-thirds vote for passage, or at least 67 votes in the 100-member House.

The bill would allow a patient authorized to use medical marijuana to put the drug in his or her own food, or have it done by an approved caregiver, but dispensaries could not sell the drug in food.


Arkansas: Titles, statuses of all medical marijuana bills

Marijuana legislation

A recap of the medical marijuana-related bills filed by the state Legislature during the 91st General Assembly. All bills must be approved on the floor of both the House of Representatives and the Senate before being sent to Gov. Asa Hutchinson to sign into law. Any bill changing the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment must be approved by a two-thirds majority in both chambers. All statuses are as of Monday morning:

HB1026 Pushes deadline for state agencies to publish marijuana regulations to May 8. Status: Signed into law as Act 4.


Arkansas Just Made Home Delivery Of Medical Marijuana Legal

Buckle up, Arkansas: You’re legally allowed to deliver medical marijuana in your state.

The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board just approved delivery for state-licensed dispensaries.

Of course, dispensary couriers can’t hop on your bike or car and roll out with the good shit. There are a few rules attached.


Arkansas commission approves medical marijuana rules

Arkansas' Medical Marijuana Commission has approved a final set of rules on how businesses can cultivate and sell the drug.

The rules approved Tuesday will now go up for public comment, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2kMoXCq ) reported. Lawmakers must adopt them no later than May 8. Commissioners are expected to hold a hearing March 31.

Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, the commission's chairman, said questions remain about who would educate patients and ensure safety.

"People who want it are thinking about the relief that it provides them," she said. "Others are thinking dollar signs and business plans, but ... the safety of that individual has to be considered as well."


Arkansas Bill Seeks to Ban Medical Marijuana Edibles

 A new bill seeks to limit the way medical marijuana patients could consume the drug in Arkansas.

If passed, Senate Bill 333 would outlaw what are known as marijuana "edibles." Edibles provide a way to ingest the drug and feel the effects without having to smoke it.

Senator Gary Stubblefield's legislation bans "combining medical cannabis with food or drink," which is how the edibles are formed and used. It does provide for exceptions in cases where patients qualify.

This bill is one of two dozen filed this session, aiming to tweak or regulate the medical marijuana amendment passed by voters last November.

This bill follows another bill seeking to ban the smoking of medical marijuana.


'Synthetic marijuana' may cause serious harm to health

Misleadingly marketed as a legal and safe alternative to marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids have a variety of adverse health effects. A new review summarizes the clinical cases that have so far been linked to the use of the synthetic substances.


Arkansas Legislators Look to Amend Medical Marijuana with Three New Proposed Bills

State Representative Robin Lundstrum (R-District 87) helped introduced three bills into the House that looked to amend the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment in several different ways.

On Monday, Rep. Lundstrum, along with Senator Gary Stubbefield (R-District 6) as a primary sponsor in the Senate, introduced a bill that would put a ban on medical marijuana edibles. The proposed amendment to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, HB1392, would not allow medical marijuana edibles to be manufactured, sold, purchased, or exchanged in Arkansas. However, a patient prescribed medical marijuana or their caregiver may still put marijuana into their food or drink.


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