Medical Marijuana training starts in Arkansas

People from across the natural state met in Fort Smith this weekend to learn how they can get involved in the state's budding medical marijuana industry.

The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association hosted its first Dispensary Agent Training seminar.

Potential candidates learned what they need to know to cultivate or sell the drug legally.

The event also educated attendees about the health benefits of the drug.

"I did a lot of research myself", said Rick Pruden who attended the event. "I knew some of the bare bones. They're going over some of the information in a lot more detail.
I've gotten a lot more resources".

We're told nearly 500 tickets were sold. 

The group will host a similar training session in Little Rock this March.


VA in Arkansas won't prescribe, pay for medical marijuana

Although Arkansas voters have approved the sale of marijuana for medical purposes, doctors with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will not be allowed to recommend or prescribe the drug to veterans, and the V.A. will not pay for it.

As state officials work on plans to provide marijuana, the federal government considers it illegal.

Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System spokesman Chris Durney told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that doctors will talk with veterans about how the use of medical marijuana may affect their treatment plans.

Some veterans say marijuana helps a variety of illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and is an alternative to opioids.


Arkansas: Timeline set for medical Marijuana

We learned medical marijuana could hit the shelves by next summer after a new timeline was set Friday to score applications to grow and to sell medical cannabis in the natural state.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission announced a timeline for license applications to be scored on Friday. 

In about 3 months 5 medical marijuana cultivation licenses plan to be awarded by the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC). 

Then in about another 3 months, the commission plans to announce who they intend to award the 32 medical marijuana dispensary licenses to in the natural state. 


Arkansas: Five counties account for more than one-third of medical marijuana applications

According to information provided to Talk Business & Politics by the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), businesses based in Pulaski, Garland, Jefferson, Washington and Sebastian counties submitted more than one-third of the proposals for cultivation greenhouses and retail sites for medical marijuana to the Commission.

Pulaski County had 35 applications, including six cultivation facility proposals and 26 dispensary applicants. Garland and Washington counties were next on the list with 25 and 24 applications, respectively.


Medical marijuana commission to plan timeline for issuing cultivation, dispensary licenses

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission is expected to discuss when they will issue cultivation and dispensary licenses.

The commission meets Monday evening and will go over how many applications they have received, those eligible for merit scoring and the number of dispensary applications by zone.


Arkansas: Medical marijuana commission looking at 'community benefit' in applications

It's a waiting game for those hoping to get into the medical marijuana business, as the Medical Marijuana Commission is busy grading the hundreds of applications.
This business could impact those hopeful business owners and patients, but the general public will be affected by this drug, too. The commission has made an effort to make it a positive effect.
It wasn't cheap to turn in those stacks and stacks of papers that make up an application to grow or sell marijuana in Arkansas.

Advocates, regulators discuss future of medical marijuana in Arkansas

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.

One hopeful distributor, who didn’t want to be named pending the approval of his license, said applications averaged about 1,000 pages long. 


Applications due Monday to grow or sell medical marijuana in Arkansas

Quiet anticipation lines the walkway to the front door of the Department of Finance and Administration Sunday night in Little Rock. 

Doors were locked, offices empty, but in a few hours, last minute marijuana cultivation and dispensary applicants will come carrying lot a lot of paperwork to the Alcohol Beverage Control office. 

"We really anticipate that Monday is going to be an extremely busy day. The application is not something you bring up in a notebook, it's something you bring up on a dolly," Scott Hardin with the Arkansas Dept. of Finance and Administration said. 

Hardin said he's watched the lines grow with applicants over the past couple weeks. 


Medical marijuana physicians cropping up in Arkansas

Inside Dr. Tammy Post's medical clinic lobby on Willow Springs Road in Johnson, a silvery wall fountain trickles; beyond the water feature is a spacious suite of examination rooms. Post, a board certified family and osteopathic medical practitioner says she’s interested in alternative medicine but never imagined she would become an advocate for medical marijuana.

“I was one of those doctors that thought marijuana was all the myths we believed about a gateway drug,” she says. “I believed it to be illicit and dangerous, like ecstasy and heroin and cocaine.”


Medical marijuana industry expected to bring new jobs to Arkansas

A one-man testing lab in Greenbrier is poised to add up to seven employees, spend more than $1 million on equipment and buy several vehicles to capitalize on the coming sale of medical marijuana in Arkansas.

Kyle Felling, the owner of F.A.S.T. Laboratories, is one part of a burgeoning medical marijuana industry that's expected to create hundreds of jobs in Arkansas, according to industry experts and representatives.

"It's for medical use. Typically, the people will be immuno-compromised in some way or they've got some ailment going on, so you've got to make sure that it's safe for people to consume," Felling said of the marijuana. "That's where the laboratory comes in and my company comes in."


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