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.”
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
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.
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.
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
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.