While Arkansas remains the first state in the Deep South to approve medical marijuana, obstacles remain as Arkansas medical marijuana laws see amendments to the original legislation being debated. This month, two such medical marijuana-related bills were finally approved. They bring with them amendments to the original version, passed by 53 percent of Arkansas voters.
Thursday afternoon Senate Bill 254 was approved by the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee. The Baxter Bulletin reports that it now is on it's way to the Senate for a vote, and would give the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission the power to allow a dispensary to grow a limited number of marijuana plants if the commission felt that it was in the best interests of citizens. A very good reason why Arkansas medical marijuana laws see amendments in order to seek passage.
Two House bills under consideration address local ownership in the marijuana businesses.
“We took the time to talk with each one of the members and explain to them that corporate ownership is fine, LLC ownership is fine, but the main thing that we're looking for is Arkansans in actual control,” Rep. Doug House said to the Democrat-Gazette when asked by what changed.
The Marijuana Policy Project isn't too worried about the delays. "After a confusing election season with two competing initiatives, multiple lawsuits, and an election period unlike any in recent memory, Arkansas became the first state in the Deep South to allow medical marijuana on November 8, 2016!" They add, "Soon, patients with qualifying conditions will be able to obtain medical cannabis with their doctor’s permission. The 53% to 46% vote showed that Arkansans are ready to embrace compassion over incarceration for the seriously ill.
For a list of the nine bills thus far, that have been approved by Arkansas legislative committees that have advanced to the floor of either the House of Representatives or the Senate for further consideration, visit The Baxter Bulletin.