Arkansas aims for early 2019 medical marijuana launch

(This article has been updated from an earlier version to note that state regulators have approved a rule allowing the state to hire a consultant to help review pending license applications.)

After a months-long delay due to a court ruling, Arkansas is developing a plan that could result in the state’s medical cannabis program launching in early 2019, a state official said Tuesday.

Scott Hardin, communications director at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, told Marijuana Business Daily that regulators could award five cultivation licenses as soon as July 9 and the product could be on the shelf in the first few months of 2019.

Meanwhile, the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission approved a rule allowing regulators to hire an independent third party to review what are now 227 pending dispensary applications, a move aimed at alleviating public concerns about the process.

Hardin wrote in an email that such an outside review also would likely take less time than for the commission to grade the 500-plus page applications itself. A total of 32 dispensary licenses will be issued under the MMJ program.

Arkansas’ medical marijuana program was approved by voters in 2016 but hit a snag when a judge ruled the process for awarding cultivation permits was unconstitutional.

The state Supreme Court recently reversed the lower-court order, but regulators had already stopped reviewing MMJ applications.

23 comments on “Arkansas aims for early 2019 medical marijuana launch
  1. Linda Boyd on

    I feel this is just too much ! all the people that need the medical marijuana to survive are not being considered…. from the outside looking in it seems the revenue from the sales and how it is taxed is the top priority here.. please expedite this process

    Reply
    • Angela on

      Please, this’ll be my second reply, so why do we The Arkansas have to continue to get the run around?? That’s medical negligence on the behalf of the denial of adequate Medications required by Law??!!

      Reply
      • Andrea on

        Absolutely, my father needs this so badly, I’m afraid he’s not going to make it long enough to get the medicine that would actually help him.

        Reply
      • Gary S. on

        I am in full agreement that this is medical neglance on the behalf of the political BS. Too continue to deny patients medical Marijuana that has been prescribed by qualifying Doctors , Gross Neglance. Wake up Arkansas and please give us the medication we have went through the legal process to aquire.God bless.

        Reply
  2. kevin brand on

    I agree on the expidite I myself have arthritis in my back and if I I use I can’t get my kids back from DHS even if using helps my pain so please will the government hurry up and get through this so I can get relief for my pain and not take a chance if losing my kids because my kids are as important to me as my my relief and I am a card holder that is when the Arkansas department of health relaeses my card

    Reply
  3. Chris on

    Guess that worthless committee our wonderful governor put together, didn’t do anything toward the dispensary selection but sit on there thumbs!

    Reply
  4. Jill on

    I’m an approved patient and am just waiting on my card as well….please help us here!!! They shud have had thevl dispensaries ready by now but WE THE PEOPLE…doesn’t feel that way!!! Please MMC…let’s get em picked! Can our growers grow yet as well? Please let Me know. Thank you, Jill

    Reply
  5. Green leaf on

    Greed !! All greed at the Sick expense!!!! We need to vote them out on next term. Everyone with a card should start calling all the people that we can to have them call , email state reps , governor office and ABC board , Marijuanna Board , at every state branch call them tie their lines up let them know how ticked off you are. Have your family and friends call as well.

    Reply
  6. Green leaf on

    And further more vote these clowns out of office when their terms comes up. Vote them out !!!! Vote them OUT !!!!!!!!

    Reply
  7. slim jim on

    Any state legislator for my district I am going to vote against next election for allowing this long delay to take place. If they were doing their jobs this would have been taken care of long ago! I urge you to do the same, lets send a message.

    Reply
  8. Cindy on

    I completely agree! I have been waiting patiently. I went though the process to get a medical marijuana card. The process was not exactly easy. It it was costly for me to go though the process to be eligible. I feel that we have waited patiently and when u r in constant pain everyday is a struggle well as feeling hopeless that what I voted for didn’t make any difference. It is past time for this process to be available for people that really need it.

    Reply
  9. Cindy July 8th 2018 on

    I completely agree! I have been waiting patiently. I went though the process to get a medical marijuana card. The process was not exactly easy. It it was costly for me to go though the process to be eligible. I feel that we have waited patiently and when u r in constant pain everyday is a struggle well as feeling hopeless that what I voted for didn’t make any difference. It is past time for this process to be available for people that really need it.

    Reply
  10. Jason on

    I have already been pre-approved and don’t want to publish the reason (actually nobody cares). I have said this before on other websites but here it goes again. Other states move at warp speed on medical marijuana and we move at the speed of a baby giraffe on ice. The will of the voters said lets roll with this. You idiots involved in making something happen need to put this on the fast track. Our state gets a bad rap and is usually toward the bottom in all national standings….road conditions, teachers pay, obesity, education and so on. Now add how slow this process is going and we continue that last in line mentality. What a cluster!!!

    Reply
  11. Joy on

    This is all Asa’s fault. He has done everything behind the scenes possible to stop and slow down this process. People need their medicine. I will be voting for Jared Henderson in November! Maybe he can speed this process up.

    Reply
  12. Humphrey Bogarts on

    This is all at the fault of Asa! He is very anti cannabis and if you remember former head of the DEA. He doesn’t want it here and he will purposely continue to screw the voters who voted to legalize in 2016 as he’s ignoring every voter and the law to push his own agenda on our lives. It doesn’t matter to him what you voted for all he cares about is making his contributors who line his pocket happy and he’ll continue to throw in monkey wrenches with golfing buddy judges to make this stall for as long as he can. Do NOT re-elect this self serving voter ignoring greedy politician back to office. Its time Arkansas stands up for change and not this backwards way its been for many years.

    Reply
  13. Green leaf on

    I sent my rep a letter telling him I’m forming a group to stop all re-elect in Arkansas. I want the whole bunch out for keeping a new med out of voters hands for what looks like 2 years and longer. I want the whole bunch OUT of office. Shame on greed taking over compassionate care. I hope you all read this. Copy and paste in other forms. Get all these people out of office .. us voters can do this together. Get the greedy Asa out and state reps and state legislators and all that branch out. Get them all out of office !!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  14. Travis Reed on

    My name is Travis Reed. I am a 100% service connected disabled veteran with severe PTSD and mild to moderate TBI. I have been having flashbacks to the point of I don’t know what is real and what is not. I am on alot of medications from the VA that do not work. I have severe anxiety everyday, am very tense, I shake constantly and have migraines. I just bought a beautiful home in Huntsville for my wife, my 5 kids and myself. I did this due to medical marijuana law passing and I am a medical marijuana patient that has been waiting patiently just like all the other patients but my patience is run very then due to my mental health. I have had my battle brothers and sisters that live in Colorado offer me a place to stay to live so I can get relief and get back to normal daily activities. I am scared to bring marijuana back and won’t do it but something has got to give. All I’m trying to do is be a good husband and father to my children. Here lately, it has been hard to get out of bed because I am wore out from the nightmares and flashbacks and severely depressed. I have had suicidal ideation. When I smoke, my mood is regulated enough to where I have a smile on my face and want to do things. Also, it telieves the tension I’m holding in my body and eliminates the migraines. I am in Dyer need of relief. I am asking as a man that served his country proudly, have had over 300 combat missions and have been shot in my right and left leg. These dates keep getting pushed back and it looks like it’s never going to happen. I read where Georgia decriminalized it to where they can get it from another state as long as they don’t get caught bringing it. Which, is about the dumbest damn law to put people at risk but hey, y’all need to get it done here cause I will take the risk In benfit for me being who I want to be for my family. My wife and kids know all about how it helps me and are very educated on it because it is a medicine for Daddy and works for him. Please, Arkansas, do something now. Quit dragging your feet. We have veterans killing themselves everyday and one of my battles pulled the trigger not to long ago. Veterans are not the only ones that suffer. We have alot of civilians in need of there medicine. I fought for our freedom and I am willing to fight my ass off to get something going for us now. If anyone has any suggestions, please let.me know and we will do this together as I will stand in front of each and everyone of you. Thank you, Travis Reed.

    Reply
    • Jimmy edwards on

      Me and my brother have back problems and arthritis my brother is also a Iraq freedom veteran has done two deployments over thear he to suffer from ptsd and depression anxiety we need to us patient that have Ben approved for the mmj card stand together agents the political asshol who don’t know what pain are government is so screwed in the head like this trump who is screwing are country and taking advantage of us patient that suffer every day in pain. I want to thank everyone that has served in the service thank for fighting for us in times of war me and my wife pray for y’all service man and woman who fought for are freedom god bless yall

      Reply

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