On November 8, 2016, 53% of Arkansas passed the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Division will be regulating dispensaries (DOH regulates the patient component) and must issue regulations for dispensing and cultivation in 120 days after passage and begin accepting applications June 2017. Under the law DOH is required to issue patients cards in 120 days of passage.
The main requirement for owning a medical marijuana business is you need to be a current resident of the state and have been living there for at least 7 years prior to applying for a license.
After voters approved Issue 6, there was a flurry of legislative activity to implement a medical cannabis program in Arkansas that 24 bills were signed into law.
Currently, applications are now available for dispensaries and cultivation facilities. The Medical Marijuana Commission will accept applications from June 30 to September 18 2017.
Legal under Measure Issue 6 (2016)
No Home Cultivation
Cannabis Grow Limit:
Legal under Measure Issue 6 (2016), which allows for 5 cultivation facility licenses, which will be regulated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.
Distribution/DispensariesThe state will allow 32 dispensaries, all of which will be regulated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.
Arkansas was the 26th state to legalize medical marijuana on November 8, 2016.
Important Cannabis Laws
Measure Issue 6 (2016) : legalized 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.
Act 1: Integrates the provisions of Issue 6 into the Arkansas Constitution as Amendment 98
Act 5: Defines written certification as an assessment of a qualifying patients condition in the course of a physician-patient relationship and specifies that an application for an ID card is not considered a medical record.
Act 438: Prohibits physicians from issuing certifications through telemedicine
Act 440: Designates that if cannabis, or a cannabis derived substance is rescheduled under federal law, Arkansas will consider the federal government’s recommendation.
Act 479: Prevents members of the Arkansas National Guard and current members of the U.S. military residing in Arkansas from being patients or caregivers.
Act 544: Amends the definition of what is an excluded felony offense under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment
Act 545: Requires criminal background checks for caregivers and applicants for dispensary and cultivation licenses
Act 587: Provides rules for temporary licensing and changes of control of dispensaries and cultivation facilities
Act 593: Creates protections for employees and prevents employers from taking adverse action against a patient or a caregiver solely for their status relating to medical cannabis. This bill still allows employers to create their own workplace drug policies.
Act 594: Sets fees and expiration dates for ID cards for dispensary and cultivation agent facilities.
Act 638: Creates and funds the Medical Marijuana Commission
Act 640: Requires rule-making for the oversight of dispensaries and creates restrictions on advertising
Act 641: Only allows a transfer of a dispensary license to a natural person
Act 642: Sets up licensing procedures for individuals who transport, distribute, or process cannabis
Act 670: Medical cannabis is subject to all state and local sales tax as other goods. Revenues generated shall be transferred to the Arkansas medical Marijuana Implementation and Operations Fund.
Act 740: Prohibits smoking in public places and other restrictions as to where individuals cannot use their medicine.
Act 906:- Creates appropriations for Arkansas Medical Cannabis Program
Act 948: Requires the reporting of qualifying patients and dispensing data to the Arkansas All-Payer Claims Data base
Act 1022: The importation of seeds, cuttings, clones or plants by a dispensary or cultivation facility shall not be prosecuted in state courts. This bill does not remove any authority from federal courts located in Arkansas
Act 1023: Prohibits cannabis from being sold in vending machines and creates guidelines for restrictions on edibles and packaging.
Act 1024: Requires dispensaries to make vaporizers available for patients
Act 1098: Allows for a 4% special privilege tax on medical cannabis. This tax is paid by the cultivation facility, dispensary, or other businesses.
Act 1100: Establishes security requirements for cultivation facilities.