Arkansas governor signs two medical cannabis bills into law

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed two medical marijuana bills this week that will make it easier for doctors to recommend MMJ and pushed back the deadline for rulemaking governing the new program.

The first measure, House Bill 1026, extends the deadline for rules to be finalized to 180 days from 120 days after last November’s election, when Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment establishing the new MMJ program, Little Rock TV station KATV reported.

That means the launch of the Arkansas MMJ program will be delayed by at least two months.

The physician-related legislation, meanwhile, loosens the requirement governing a doctor’s ability to certify that a patient has a medical condition that can be treated through MMJ, according to KATV.

The measure, House Bill 1058, is intended to help doctors feel more comfortable about recommending MMJ, a move that could boost the patient count in a southern state with a strong stigma against cannabis.

Responding to concerns among physicians, KATV noted that House Bill 1058 removes language in the MMJ state ballot initiative requiring doctors to provide written certification that cannabis’ potential health benefits would outweigh the risks for a patient.

The state health department will be responsible for issuing MMJ patient cards that allow people to buy medical cannabis.

Both bills required a two-thirds vote by both chambers of the legislature because they change a constitutional amendment.

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3 comments on “Arkansas governor signs two medical cannabis bills into law
  1. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Be on guard, good people of Arkansas. Former Drug Enforcement Admin. head Gov. Asa Hutchinson and a majority of your state’s physicians are bound to be sleazy behind the scenes. Doctors here in maddeningly repressive New York and other states will not recommend cannabis products that can be smoked because of the “risks” they perceive to patients’ lungs (and hearts). That is why newer medical marijuana companies are failing from the get-go. In every state, we have to demand better of doctors and politicians (both groups allegedly corrupted by lifetimes of bribes and campaign donations from large synthetic pill manufacturers) and demand that they lift all opposition to sales of dried cannabis flowers or other smokable products—even if they have solid evidence proving that cannabis smoke is harmful to patients. Cigarettes are harmful, too, though many patients have the freedom to spend their money on them anyway. Alcohol—a primary relaxation vice for countless women and men—is 1,000 times more dangerous than marijuana. Markets for those lethal products have been properly regulated for decades by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Or how about those damned pills doled out by doctors to patients like candy for decades everywhere in America, which ultimately hooked millions on opioids? We are forced to ignore that criminality by the likes of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and too many more arrogant public officials, who still make the pathetic claim that marijuana is the “gateway drug.” My point is that politicians and doctors have no rights to prohibit any cannabis manufacturing, medicine, nutrition or adult recreation. They never had the right to obstruct the cannabis industry and they never will.

    • jeffrey d.avery on

      yes,they’ve already tried that.they being senator rapert,aka “the bully of bigalow”or also known as “armed and ready rapert. there were even jokes made about the approved form of delivery of the drug be via suppository. this joke was made by the head of the rules committee appointed by asa h. was recorded on you tube,and i wrote a scathing comment of how crass and inappropriate …and how insensitive,that joke was….we are the heart of the bible belt, and in their ignorance, the “holier than thous” ,preach ,not only at the pulpit,as part time preachers,and full time polliticians (sen rapert),but believe that the only medications that are not sinful, are the traditional poisons ordained by big pharma…little do they know,but the very addictive and sometimes deadly opiate,comes from a flower.(somniferrum poppy flower),which can be smoked,snorted and injected…..we are a poor state ,and mostly rural..and many places seem to exist in a vacuum,meaning, there’s little stimuli for growth,understanding and/or enlightenment,for anything other than, what has passed for normal..but,with having said that,i must admit,that gov asa h. did reply publicly that” he believed the voters of arkansas ,had perceived the mmj ,as being smoked,when they voted for it at the,we’ll just have to wait and see…but,surely gov asa h.knows that his political career is on the line, if he does anything to undermine the mmj law…………..thank you and god bless,and may you always be with enough………………..jeffrey d. avery

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