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Arkansas Has Received Zero Applications to Grow or Dispense Medical Cannabis

August 11, 2017
(csfotoimages/iStock)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Demand for permission to use, grow and sell medical marijuana in Arkansas is low as the state reaches the halfway point for the application period.
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told The Associated Press Friday morning that the agency had received no applications to grow and distribute medical marijuana.

“We are not concerned, as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete,” Hardin said earlier in the week. “Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications.”

Hardin said officials anticipate applications will start arriving closer to the Sept. 18 deadline.

Related

Arkansas Shoots Down Proposal to Ban Smokeable Medical Marijuana

There are regulations that limit where greenhouses and distributors can operate. While setting up rules for licensing, legislators said growers must be at least 3,000 feet (900 meters) from churches, schools or daycares, while dispensaries must be 1,500 feet (450 meters) away. Those restrictions will make it difficult for some towns and small cities to have marijuana operations.

Cultivation facility and dispensary license applications will be scored and officials will award the permits based on merit. The department plans to award five cultivation licenses and 32 dispensary licenses.

Despite the lack of submissions for licenses, there has been interest in using medical marijuana though that number is low.

There have been 404 applications completed and approved from people seeking to use medical marijuana as of Tuesday, according to Department of Health spokeswoman Katie White.

Director of Health Communications Marisha DiCarlo told the AP that the agency had projected around 30,000 people would apply for medical marijuana cards.

Related

Arkansas Expecting 20,000-40,000 Medical Marijuana Patient Applications

“This number was based on population, types of qualifying conditions, and trends in other states,” DiCarlo said. “At this time, it is too early in the process to know if that number will be reached, since usable, legally obtained Arkansas marijuana is not yet available in the state.”

DiCarlo also said there are several documents applicants have to gather to complete their applications.

People who want to obtain an ID card must have a physician fill out a form certifying that they have a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use. There are 18 qualifying conditions, including intractable pain, cancer, severe nausea, seizures and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The ID cards, which cost $50 and must be renewed yearly, will be issued about 30 days before medical marijuana is available for legal purchase in the state.

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  • Truepatriot_56

    There will never be med. marij. In arkansas. I urged everyone to vote against this sham. The good issue, got taken off the ballot after voting had already begun. The issue 6, that passed is a fraud! The number of ailments allowed is so minimal, nobody will qualify. Hence the measly 404 applicants.
    Then, there’s the appplication fee for cultivation is $15,000, and if you’re denied, you don’t get your money back. The app. fee for a dispensary is also outrageously insanely high.
    The government has done everything in its’ power to stifle the will of the voters.
    We have some really corrupt judges and politicians here and they will never allow medical mariJuana in the natural state.

    • Laura P. Schulman

      I wondered if it was something line that…fees and conditions that are impossible. “See, we passed a bill, but nobody applied.”

      • Truepatriot_56

        That’s it.

  • Legalize420

    Here in MA we had tons of problems in 2012 but our biggest was the state blocking dispensaries with every loophole and zoning rule they could find. They ALSO tried to screw up Question 4 and led a lie campaign that of course got booze, pharma, the governed and lawmakers, and legislators against it. They even screwed with the ballot inniative info catalogs or whatever that went out, but with my and other volunteers help it passed by 1.8 MIL votes. Then in December we had NOTHING but delays, back door deals to screw with the law and the lawmakers and state house ready to REPEAL AND REPLACE the great law that they called bad as THEY didnt want it. We’ll lookie now! Us advocates fought, Senate had our back for the will of the voters, and end result was rec adult use law left MOSTLY intact with the biggest change being tax and taking the DPH out of the MMJ program. Even prohibitionist Charlie Baker signed it into law with a disgusted “I don’t think this is a good idea, but I am respecting and upholding the will of the votors/people”.

    Its nuts AK has such BAD policy. What law you got stuck with is good as it gives access to some and PTSD will cover MANY people and some legal states don’t even have PTSD AS qualifying. They are fighting still for that amendment. So don’t feel too bad as there’s still 20+ states with NO legislation. Positive note but I agree that list of conditions is PATHETIC. THIS WAS TO TERRY ZELK I FORGOT REPLY.

  • Chip Leibovich

    Let me preface by saying I preferred the alternative law to the one that passed, but having said that – I think the media is leaving out key points. First, the Department of Health can add “qualifying conditions” to their list. More importantly, ANYONE can petition the department to add their condition; and if the department denies that request, you can appeal their decision to circuit court.

    Second, a $15,000 application fee is high. But bare in mind this isn’t growing pot in your dorm room closet. These cultivation facilities have a lot of expenses from staff to security to equipment etc. etc. Most people I’ve talked to say the buy-in is at least one million. Which is a lot, but being the first legal operation in the state is a big deal.

    • Truepatriot_56

      What does the expenses of cultivation have to do with the outrageously stupid cost of $15,000 just to submit an application? An appplication is nothing more than a background check. It has nothing to do with operating costs. This is meant only as a deterrent.
      Also, where do you read that the dept. of health can add qualifying conditions? One intrinsic problem with issue 6 was that it is an amendment to the constitution, which means that it must be enacted, “as written”, whereas an act could be modifyed at will by the legislature. The only way to change an amendment is to amend the constitution. An act (issue 7), can be changed by the legislature as needed, much better.
      This was a deliberate act by the state to kick the voters to the curb. It worked.

      • Chip Leibovich

        Section 4, (c)(1): Not later than one hundred eighty (180) days after the effective date of this
        amendment, the department shall adopt rules that govern the manner in which the
        department considers petitions from the public to add medical conditions or treatments to
        the list of qualifying medical conditions set forth in § 2 of this amendment.
        (2) In considering a petition, the department shall add medical conditions or treatments
        to the list of qualifying medical conditions set forth in § 2 of this amendment if patients
        suffering from the medical conditions or undergoing the treatments in question would derive
        therapeutic benefit from the use of marijuana, taking into account the positive and negative
        health effects of such use.
        (3) (A) The department shall, after hearing, approve or deny a petition within one
        hundred twenty (120) days of submission of the petition.
        (B) The approval or denial of a petition constitutes final agency action, subject to
        judicial review, and jurisdiction for judicial review is vested in the Pulaski County Circuit
        Court.

        I’m a lawyer. This is how laws work. It is not a “problem” with issue 6. More conditions can be added. An amendment can vest rule making authority with a department to carry out the particular details of how to carry out the law. Those regulations cannot subvert the amendment. This one is handy-dandy because ANYONE can file a petition to add their condition to the registry of “qualifying conditions.”