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Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission Holds First Meeting

Yesterday, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission held its first official meeting. We wanted to provide readers with a briefing on Arkansas' medical marijuana reform that passed as well as inform them on the current developments with the start of a new medical marijuana industry for Arkansas. 

 

Medical Marijuana Amendment Passes

 

On Novmber 9th, just over 53% of Arkansas voters said yes to Issue 6 on their

ballots, also known as the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment.

 

According to Ballotpedia, voting yes on Issue 6

"supported legalizing medical

marijuana for 17 qualifying conditions, creating a Medical Marijuana Commission,

and allocating tax revenue to technical institutes, vocational schools, workforce

training, and the General Fund.”

 

Accelerated Timeline

 

After being approved by voters in early November, there was 120 days for the

Department of Health and the Department of Finance to determine a

whole laundry list of guidelines, testing standards and more for the state’s medical

marijuana program.

 

One of the first orders of business necessary for Arkansas to start their medical

marijuana program was to initiate the oversight and planning phase by creating the

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.

 

Creating a Medical Marijuana Commission

 

Arkansas ballot issue 6 stated that if it passed, one of the first tasks would be

“establishing a Medical Marijuana Commission of five members, two appointed by

the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, two appointed by the Speaker of the

House of Representatives, and one appointed by the Governor; providing that the

Medical Marijuana Commission shall administer and regulate the licensing of

dispensaries and cultivation facilities.”

 

Essentially, the commission is there to figure out what is the best way to license and

regulate the dispensaries, cultivators, testing facilities and more that will make up a

well functioning Arkansas medical marijuana market.

 

Commission Members

 

Members of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission met officially for the first

time yesterday to elect a chairman and be sworn in among other

tasks. The five members of the commission are currently:

  • Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman: The newly elected chairman on the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission was Governor Hutchinson’s designated pick, as provisioned in the ballot above. She is an esteemed oncologist at the University of Arkansas.

  • Travis Story: One of two commission members picked by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jeremy Gillam. Story is the lead attorney at Story Law Firm.

  • Dr. Carlos Roman: One of two commission members picked by President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Jonathan Dismang. Roman is also chairman of the Arkansas State MedicalBoard's Pain Management Review Committee.

  • Stephen Carroll: The second commission member picked by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jeremy Gillam. Carroll is COO of Allcare Correctional Pharmacy.

  • James Miller: The second commission member picked by President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Jonathan Dismang. Miller is a political lobbyist for the Arkansas Railroad Association.

 

Next Meeting

 

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meeting again this coming

Tuesday to work through more of the commission’s planning tasks. According to the

ballot’s timeline requirements, the commission only has about 6 more weeks to

determine the licensing procedures for dispensaries and cultivators.

 

With the holiday season coming up, it will take efficient and diligent discussion at

meetings to meet deadlines without delays to the medical marijuana program’s

proposed launch.

 

Conclusion

 

For more information on the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, be sure to

check out the full text of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment here, as well

as Brian Fanney’s article titled “Rx-‘pot’ commission meets.” Also, for more coverage

on Arkansas’ medical marijuana reform and the start of their new industry, check

out our Arkansas Marijuana News section.

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