Arkansas medical cannabis officials send rules to lawmakers for OK

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission (AMMC) finalized rules about who can cultivate and sell medical cannabis for a market where sales could begin before the end of the year.

The rules now head to state lawmakers who must sign off before they can take effect, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

An attorney for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said the application period for dispensaries and cultivation facilities is expected to open July 1 and that the first sales could start before January 2018, according to the newspaper.

A sticking point for lawmakers, however, could be a rule requiring that 60% of a medical marijuana business’ ownership be state residents. The General Assembly rebuffed a bill with such a stipulation earlier in this session, according to the newspaper.

The General Assembly, now in recess, must sign off on Arkansas’ medical marijuana regulations by May 8. If the lawmakers fail to do so, the state will be in violation of its constitution, the Democrat-Gazette reported.

The AMMC also further defined growing regulations to allow a dispensary to have up to 50 mature plants – defined as flowering by the commission – and 150 immature plants.

The Health Department is expected to weigh in with its MMJ regulations later this month, the newspaper reported.