Arkansas finalizing medical cannabis industry rules

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Arkansas officials are anticipating that between 20,000 and 40,000 residents will sign up to purchase medical cannabis, which is close to Marijuana Business Daily’s estimates of the potential patient pool.

The state Health Department’s chief lawyer, Robert Brech, told a joint meeting of the Senate and House Public Health Committee that running Arkansas’ medical marijuana program will cost about $1.5 million over the next year.

Medical marijuana registration cards will cost about $50. Under the proposed rules, an Arkansas driver’s license or state ID will be required to obtain one.

Brech said there had been some debate about requiring a state ID to get a registration card.

“Some people objected to that because they think it’s a good opportunity for Arkansas to become a medical marijuana tourist destination,” Brech said.

Brech said the Justice Department made it clear that states with a medical marijuana program should ensure MMJ does not flow into states where similar measures have not been passed. Brech said the ID requirement was an effort to avoid possible illegal diversion to the black market.

The state will soon begin accepting applications from potential MMJ growers and dispensaries.

The joint committee also reviewed regulations for testing and labeling marijuana. The rules will now go before a legislative subcommittee.

– Associated Press