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Arkansas Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program: Contact Details

Arkansas Department of Health
4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867
Phone: 1-800-462-0599
Email: adh.medicalmarijuana@arkansas.gov
Website: Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program

Recent Legislation Updates

In June 2017, the state of Arkansas started accepting registrations for medical marijuana cards. Though there are currently no licensed dispensaries within the state of Arkansas, medical marijuana is likely to be available for legal purchase in 2018. Patients may apply online or submit a paper application. Instructions for applying for medical marijuana are available on the Arkansas Department of Health website.

Medical Marijuana in Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Health has 120 days from date of passage, to adopt and implement the regulations and rules necessary to operate the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program. The law requires that a Medical Marijuana Commission be established to regulate licensing requirements for cannabis cultivation centers, and medical marijuana dispensaries and clinics.

The Arkansas Patient Registry application fee is yet to be determined. Once established, the Arkansas Marijuana Registry will be mandatory.

Medical marijuana in Arkansas received a huge boost in November 2016 with the voter-approved Issue 6, also known as the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016. The initiative, approved by a margin of 53%-47%, allows patients suffering from serious illnesses to have access to medical cannabis with the approval of their physician.

It also allows for the issuing of between four and eight licenses to cultivation facilities, and the creation of as many as 40 dispensaries throughout the state. However, it does not permit cultivation. The Arkansas medical marijuana program is to be regulated by the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

On February 27, 2018, the state of Arkansas released information about 5 cultivation licenses that had been issued after considering 95 applications across the state for cultivation and 200 dispensary applications since October 2017. Cultivation licenses were issued to Natural State Medicinals (Jefferson County), Bold Team LLC (Woodruff County), Natural State Wellness Enterprises (Jefferson or Jackson County), Osage Creek Cultivation (Carroll County), and Delta Medical Cannabis Company Inc. (Jackson County).

Limitations of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program

While the passing of the initiative was a welcome event for many patients who wanted medical marijuana in Arkansas, there are some limitations. For example, landlords can prohibit on-site smoking of pot on their property. As in most other states that allow medical weed, patients in Arkansas need to obtain a registry card to legally possess cannabis.

As of March 2017, the state was still in the process of adopting rules in regard to how cards would be distributed, as well as regulations that would govern both cultivation and dispensary facilities. It was expected that patients would not be able to access legal medical marijuana in Arkansas until the end of 2017 at the earliest. But as we’ve seen in other states, developments surrounding legal medicinal cannabis can change quickly, so check back with MarijuanaDoctors.com on a regular basis for updated information.

Selling and Purchasing Medical Marijuana in Arkansas

Again, there are many details that need to be ironed out before the Arkansas medical marijuana program goes into full effect. The state’s Medical Marijuana Commission is a five-member panel that is responsible for issuing dispensary licenses. As of this writing, the commission had yet to begin accepting applications for those licenses and had yet to set the fee for those applications. The most it can charge for an application, per the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, is $7,500.

To obtain legal medical marijuana in Arkansas, a patient must first receive a written certification from a physician stating that the patient has a medical condition that qualifies under the program. That patient must then apply for a registry card issued by the state that will permit them to purchase weed from a dispensary. The card would also provide protection against legal action should a law enforcement officer see that the patient possesses marijuana.

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Challenges to the Program

In a state as traditionally conservative as Arkansas, it’s not surprising that there was vehement opposition to the medical marijuana initiative. Fortunately, the amendment cannot be repealed without it being put to another statewide vote. However, the state legislature has the power to change certain portions of the amendment with a two-thirds vote. But legislators are not allowed to change the provisions that legalize medical cannabis use, nor can they change the number of dispensaries that will be allowed to operate in the state.

One opponent of the amendment, Republican state senator Jason Rapert, proposed a bill in the 2017 legislative session to try and delay the medical cannabis program until the federal government legalized marijuana. This was a rather blatant attempt to basically stop the medical cannabis program from even getting off of the ground since there is absolutely no indication that the federal government will change the classification of weed any time soon. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Thankfully, the legislation failed. In fact, it was not even voted upon by a Senate committee.

Arkansas Qualification

Even though Rapert, in trying to delay the program, said that a patient could get a medical cannabis card after “stubbing his or her toe,” that is not on the list of qualifying medical conditions. Patients suffering from debilitating or chronic medical conditions and diseases may participate in the Arkansas medical marijuana program. These include

But even if a patient’s specific condition doesn’t appear on the list, that person may still be able to access medical weed if their doctor recommends it. For more information on Who Qualifies for Marijuana in Arkansas, check our definitive guide.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Laws

Despite the fact that Arkansas medical marijuana will eventually be available to thousands of sufferers of serious health ailments, the penalties for non-medical possession remain some of the harshest in the United States. There has been no movement on the part of state legislators toward any sort of decriminalization or legalization of possession of small amounts of weed. In fact, someone who possesses less than four ounces of pot could be facing a jail sentence of as long as a year and up to a $2,500 fine. If you would like to learn more about Arkansas’ Full Medical Marijuana Laws, MarijuanaDoctors.com has a comprehensive section to keep you informed.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card

The process of obtaining an Arkansas medical marijuana card is still being ironed out. What we knew as of March 2017 is fairly minimal, as the state is still working out the regulations that would govern the issuance of the cards. However, it had been established that a patient would have to suffer from a qualifying condition and obtain a written recommendation from their physician.

The state of Arkansas started accepting registrations for medical marijuana cards in June 2017. The online application is available on the Arkansas Department of Health website.

Check our section on obtaining an Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card on a regular basis, and we will provide you updated information as it becomes available.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Facts

Even though 21 states had either decriminalized pot or legalized recreational use, penalties for possessing even small amounts in Arkansas remain extremely harsh. There were a little more than 5,700 marijuana-related arrests in Arkansas in 2012, and 90 percent of those arrests were for possession, according to statistics provided by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

The organization favors decriminalization (preferably legalization) of possession of small amounts of weed, stating that law enforcement efforts would be better served focusing on more serious crimes. If you would like more Arkansas Medical Marijuana Facts, MarijuanaDoctors.com can help you separate fact from fiction.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program: Information

On July 7, 2016, over 100,000 signatures were collected by the Arkansans for Compassionate Care group, effectively placing the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act on the ballot. “We have verified 77,516 valid signatures on the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act petition. Proposal will be on November ballot,” said Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin. The Act would effectively make the medical use of marijuana legal under Arkansas state law and would establish a system to regulate the cultivation and distribution of cannabis, for patients who qualify.

However, on October 27, 2016, the Arkansas Supreme Court officially disqualified the act from the ballot, citing that over 12,000 of the signatures collected to qualify the measure for the ballot, were in fact, invalid. “We conclude that the total number of signatures which should have been counted by respondent falls below the statutory minimum,” ruled Arkansan Justice Karen R. Baker.

On August 31, 2016, the Secretary of State’s office verified the receipt of 97,284 valid signatures, putting the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment measure on the November 08, 2016 ballot.

On November 08, 2016, Arkansas voters voted 53.2% in favor of the constitutional amendment, thereby “making the medical use of marijuana legal under Arkansas state law”, effective November 09, 2016.

As per the amendment, registered patients with specific medical conditions who have a medical marijuana recommendation from a certified physician, are legally permitted to possess no more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis.

The Department of Health and the Alcohol Beverage Control Division is appointed to oversee the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program (AMMP).

Although Arkansas is now a legal medical marijuana state, it is still going to take a period of time to establish an operational Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program (AMMP). MarijuanaDoctors.com will continue to update patients on the program’s progress as it develops, so be sure to check back frequently.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program: Possession and Cultivation Regulations

Arkansas law allows medical marijuana patients to possess no more than 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis per the duration of a 14-day period. No cannabis is accessible to patients at this time. Keep checking MarijuanaDoctors.com frequently for current program updates.

The State of Arkansas has a legalized medical marijuana program, which allows patients to receive a medical marijuana recommendation from a certified physician, and apply for a state-issued Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card, permitting the patient to purchase marijuana for medicinal use, as per Arkansas state guidelines.

Since the Arkansas medical marijuana program is still changing their laws and new Arkansas medical marijuana laws are being enacted on a regular basis, please be sure to visit our site frequently to get the most updated laws as it pertains to the Arkansas medical marijuana program. Please click a corresponding link to find out more about the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program. We have compiled the following Arkansas medical marijuana index of information to serve as a medical library to our users for legal reference of Arkansas’ laws, guidelines and program details regarding medical cannabis use in Arkansas.

Please note: In order to become a legal medical marijuana patient you must first have a qualifying condition as outlined by the department of health services and/or department of justice. For a comprehensive list of Arkansas’ qualifying medical marijuana conditions, please visit our qualifying conditions section located on the top of our menu under “legal states”.

Finally, a helpful & informative website! MarijuanaDoctors.com answered all of my medical marijuana questions and helped me schedule an appointment with an accredited doctor in my area.~Susan - Denver, CO