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Arkansas Patients Waiting On Medical Marijuana Cards – And Cannabis

There are now 6,764 people approved for medical marijuana cards in the U.S. state of Arkansas – and not one of them has been issued a card yet.

Arkansas was among four states that voted yes to medical marijuana back in 2016. The road from there has been a bumpy one. For cultivators to get a look-in, they needed a bundle of cash and at one point it seemed there was little interest from industry. However, while a month before applications closed only two had thrown their hats in the ring, by the deadline in September 2017 more than 200 parties had submitted an application.

According to the News Tribune, growers have stated their harvests won’t be ready until around April this year and licenses are yet to be issued for dispensaries.

A statement on the Arkansas Department of Health web site says registry ID cards won’t be available for printing until a month prior to product availability in Arkansas dispensaries.

This has reportedly created some challenges for registered patients in Arkansas who want to nip over the border to buy medicines in Oklahoma. As we recently mentioned, Oklahoma issues temporary adult patient licenses, allowing out-of-staters to by medicinal marijuana in the state. The problem is that in order to qualify for a temporary license, the person must hold a valid registry ID card from the state in which they live.

Regardless, marijuana must be labeled from an Arkansas dispensary in order to provide protection under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, and patients cannot home grow. 

So it seems Arkansas patients still have quite a wait ahead, but News Tribune says cards will start being issued in February.

The state’s program covers 17 conditions including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, severe nausea and intractable pain. In order to be accepted into the Arkansas program, an official physician-written certification must be obtained and submitted with the application. There must also be a bona-fide relationship with the certifying physician.

When product is finally available, patients will be permitted to purchase up to 2.5 ounces from a dispensary every 14 days.

More information on the state’s program can be found here.

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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