SHARE

On November 8th, 2016, the residents of Arkansas voted on and passed an Initiative (Issue 6) to legalize medical marijuana. On November 9th, 2016, Issue 6 went into effect making medical marijuana legal in Arkansas for patients suffering from qualified medical conditions (listed below). There are three local government agencies regulating the state’s Medical Marijuana Program (Program), each of which have been tasked to regulate different aspects of the Program:

Arkansas Department of Health (DOH)

Tasked to regulate Patient and Caregiver activities within the Program. The DOH developed the Rules and Regulations Governing Medical Marijuana Registration, Testing, and Labeling in Arkansas.

Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)

Tasked to regulate marijuana businesses and developing the Rules and Regulations Governing the Oversight of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities and Dispensaries.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission (MMC)

In collaboration with the ABC, tasked to regulate marijuana businesses. The MMC developed the Rules and Regulations Governing the Application for Issuance and Renewal of Licenses for Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities and Dispensaries in Arkansas.

Read the entire text of Issue 6 also known as The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment 2016 here:
https://uaex.edu/business-communities/voter-education/Issue%206%20-%20Full%20Text.pdf

Marijuana Business Overview

Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility:

  • Allowed to cultivate, prepare, manufacture, process, package, sell and deliver usable marijuana to Arkansas state licensed dispensaries.
  • No more than 5 cultivation licenses to be issued in each public health district
  • Cultivation real estate must be not less than 3,000 feet from any school, church or daycare center.
  • No more than 1 license shall be issued to any entity.
  • Application fee has been set at $15,000 (half of the application fee will be returned if the application for a cultivation facility is not approved).
  • Within 7 days of receiving written notice of selection from the commission, the selected applicant shall submit a license fee of $100,000.00 in cash or certified funds as well as a performance bond in the amount of $500,000.00.

Dispensaries

  • Allowed to acquire, possess, manufacture, process, prepare, deliver, transfer, transport, supply and dispense medical marijuana to qualifying patients and caregivers.
  • No more than 32 dispensary licenses shall be awarded within the “8 dispensary zones”
  • Dispensary location may not be any less than 1,500 feet from a school, church or daycare center.
  • No more than 1 license shall be issued to any entity.
  • The application fee for dispensary licenses is set at $7,500 (half the application fee will be refunded if the license is not granted).
  • There is a two-tier licensing scheme for dispensaries:
  • One tier will be comprised of those dispensaries that intend to grow marijuana – a dispensary may opt to grow fifty (50) mature marijuana plants.
  • A second tier will be comprised of those dispensaries that do not intend to grow marijuana.
  • The applicant will be required to declare their intent to grow or not grow at the time the application is submitted.
  • Within 7 days of receiving written notice of selection from the commission, the selected applicant shall submit a license fee of $15,000.00 in cash or certified funds as well as a performance bond in the amount of $100,000.00.

Dispensary/Cultivation License Application

Application to obtain a permit will include the submission of items such as:

Organizational Chart and description of responsibilities
Criminal History Checks
Real estate information
Financial Plan
Inventory Management Plan
Security Plan
and more

Program Timeline

November 8th, 2016 – Issue 6 passed
November 9th, 2016 – Law took effect
February 21st, 2017 – Draft regulations released
May of 2017 – Final Regulations published
July 30th to September 18th, 2017 – Application submissions (90 Day Window)

Medical Marijuana Industry Developments

August 2nd, 2017

The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association, the Arkansas cannabis industry trade association advocating for laws, regulations and public policies that foster a healthy, professional and accountable medical cannabis industry launched a new tool on its website that will connect qualifying medical marijuana patients with doctors who can certify them.This tool allows you to put in your location and find a doctor near you.

Right now, the site lists 9 doctors in locations such as Fort Smith, Eureka Springs, Springdale, Conway, Benton and Jonesboro. Experts said if you have one of the 18 conditions listed on the Arkansas amendment, you qualify for the use of medical marijuana.Nearly 300 people have signed up to receive a medical marijuana card across the state of Arkansas.

To view the website, click here.

August 10th, 2017

A coalition of leaders in health care, agricultural and legal sectors forms the basis of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association, which will be overseen by a seven-member board of directors, according to a news release.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association will be the voice for medical marijuana cultivators, distributors and businesses that serve the industry in the state, the news release says. The association will engage in the policy-making process to advocate for the industry, educate licensees on best practices to help self-regulate the industry and conduct public education initiatives about the medical marijuana industry at large and the safe use of the drug for medicinal purposes, the release states.

To keep you updated with State Industry updates, Dispensary Permits contributes this insight to the DCN community. 

To stay up to date on more industry updates, click here.