Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program
About the laws established by Issue 6:
Patients may possess up to 2 ½ ounces of cannabis flower
No home cultivation is permitted.
Out-of-state medical cannabis patients may obtain medicine from a state dispensary with a valid registry identification card from their state or district.
Dispensaries are permitted to make deliveries to medical cannabis patients.
Medical cannabis sales shall be subject to the same state and local sales tax as other goods.
AR Medical marijuana cards are being issued by the state after a licensed MMJ doctor has recommended this for their patient. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, or Issue 6 as the ballot initiative was named, was approved by voters in 2016 by a 6 percent margin.
Marijuana — all cannabis for that matter — was made illegal in Arkansas way back in 1923. Although a 2012 attempt to legalize medical marijuana known as the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act failed to pass, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, or Issue 6 as the ballot initiative was named, was approved by voters in 2016 by a 6 percent margin.
Issue 6 established a system for the regulation and taxation of medical marijuana and called for the creation of the Medical Marijuana Commission consisting of five members to oversee the state’s MMJ program.
In order to implement the program lawmakers needed to pass a series of legislative actions and twenty-four separate bills were signed into law. Among other things, these bills set up licensing procedures for the cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of medical marijuana in Arkansas. A four percent “special privilege” tax to be paid by cultivation facilities, dispensaries, or other businesses was also implemented.
In the more than two years since the bill was signed into law, progress has been slow. In fact, as we write, medical marijuana is just now becoming available to patients in the state.
By early 2019, the Medical Marijuana Commission had licensed five cultivators and 32 dispensaries. Products are/were expected to be available to dispensaries in April of 2019. Also, the state had approved more than 7,000 patients.
Growing your own marijuana is prohibited and can get you in big trouble.
Arkansas Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions:
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Tourette syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Severe arthritis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cachexia/wasting syndrome
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Intractable pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizure disorders
- Muscle spasms
- Multiple sclerosis
Medical Marijuana vs. CBD Oil
For those of you who qualify for an Arkansas medical marijuana card but might not want the risks that come with consuming THC, let’s discuss the difference between marijuana and hemp-derived CBD oil.
Even though one gets people high and the other does not, hemp and marijuana are actually the same species of plant — Cannabis sativa. We’ll just call it “cannabis.”
It has only been within the past century that there has been a distinction between hemp and marijuana. Today we refer to strains of cannabis which are used for food and fiber as industrial hemp. And we refer to strains used for medicinal and recreational purposes as marijuana. Interestingly, although the plant used to produce CBD oil is often referred to as industrial hemp, it is not a strain of industrial hemp, but rather a strain of marijuana which has had the THC bred out of it. There are also strains which have varying ratios of THC to CBD.
Marijuana strains have been bred specifically to be high in cannabinoids, especially THC, the cannabinoid which causes a high. It has only been in the past couple of decades that marijuana cultivators began to develop strains of marijuana which were high in CBD and lower in THC.