Arkansas

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.

Wed
09
Jan

Pediatric nurse appointed to Arkansas marijuana board

A pediatric nurse who says he's seen the positive effects of medical marijuana on his patients has been appointed to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.

Justin Smith, 38, was appointed to the board Monday, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported . Smith is a nurse at Arkansas Children's Hospital and has worked in pediatric care for 11 years. He replaces James Miller, who resigned last month to focus on his family and business.

Smith said he's seen cannabis products help treat children with epilepsy.

"I've seen it work with my own eyes," Smith said. "When you see that, it kind of changes your mind and perspective on things. Especially in my case, when you see it work on children, you can't really deny it has some benefit with proper application."

Mon
07
Jan

Arkansas won't issue medical marijuana cards until February

Arkansas' health department has yet to issue licenses to the thousands of residents approved to buy medical marijuana in the state, which is affecting patients' ability to get temporary licenses in neighboring Oklahoma.

The Arkansas Department of Health likely won't distribute medical marijuana cards until February, agency spokeswoman Meg Mirivel said. State health officials don't want residents to pay for a card they won't be able to use yet, in part because the cards must be renewed after a year, she said.

Thu
03
Jan

Arkansas residents can obtain Oklahoma marijuana license

Thousands of Arkansas residents with valid medical marijuana licenses can receive a temporary medical marijuana adult license in Oklahoma, authorities said.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has issued more than 33,000 patient licenses since voters overwhelmingly authorized medical cannabis in June. And KFSM reports residents of Arkansas and other states with state-issued medical marijuana licenses can apply for a temporary license in Oklahoma.

Wed
19
Dec

Arkansas medical marijuana dispensary licenses delayed until January 2019

The path to legal marijuana in Arkansas has been rocky at best. Though voters in 2016 approved a medical cannabis measure granting access to patients with certain conditions, residents have seen a plethora of stumbling blocks from anti-pot Republicans and legal complainants. On Tuesday, one more hold-up was announced: the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission is delaying its designation of 20 to 32 more dispensary licenses until next year.

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