Arkansas legislators have been working overtime to slide several bills through the senate and house. While many bill proposals have been stuffed with the typical prohibitive language and negative impacts to Arkansas marijuana patients, a few bills are small wins for AR cannabis consumers. Some of these fly-by-night proposals have already become official bills, while some fell by the wayside being withdrawn or shut down. Here is a list of what passed, when it passed, and what it means.
Arkansas Marijuana Laws & Bills May 2021 Update
1. SB703 Now Act 1112
Became Act 1112 on 5/3/2021
Senate Bill 703 reinstated telehealth procedures for Arkansas medical marijuana certifications. While the bill is now official, the AR Department of Health (which handles part of the infrastructure for ARMMJ) has yet to update their website or release an official statement.
They typically have around 90 days to implement processes and we are following this very closely. Introduced by Sen. Leding, SB703 recognizes the impact of COVID-19 and exemplifies compassion in dealing with Arkansas marijuana patients.
2. HB1353 Now Act 342
Became Act 342 on 3/15/2021
House Bill 1353 prohibits dispensaries and cultivation facilities from using the images of a cross of any color, a caduceus, or any symbol that is commonly associated with the practice of medicine or the practice of pharmacy.
Introduced by Sen. Haak, Sen. Bledsoe, and Sen. Lundstrum, this bill paints a clear picture of how our legislators view “medical” marijuana. A strange and seemingly unnecessary bill that entertains controversy and legislative incompetence.
3. HB1525 Now Act 1062
Became Act 1062 on 4/30/2021
House Bill 1525 started out as a gross example of overreaching and preventative abuse of power. Originally containing such explicit ignorance as preventing patients from taking their medicine in a public place or even being in a public place with medicine in their system, HB1525 from Sen. Lundstrum and Sen. Bledsoe started as a monstrous desire to control and inhibit chronically and terminally ill patients and finalized as a watered down loose-noodle of amendments.
HB1525’s goals ended up preventing the use of medical marijuana through inhalation in public places, prohibiting the transport of medical marijuana from another state into Arkansas, and a blurb concerning the amount of cannabis able to be legally transported by licensed transporters.
4. HB1774 Now Act 666
Became Act 666 on 4/12/2021
House Bill 1774 is an interesting addition to Amendment 98 Section 4. This bill adds a line that allows a physician who writes a certification for cannabis in AR to also refer the patient to confer with a pharmacist consultant of a dispensary.
This is interesting because in Arkansas it is illegal for a physician to write a prescription for cannabis, or a specific type of cannabis.
An important piece of legislation, as there are thousands of strains of cannabis and an overwhelming amount of medical knowledge about them, the prescribing doctor may not be the right person to consult with specific dosages and products.
Led by Sen. Penzo, additional language in the bill provides the infrastructure requirements of dispensaries to have a pharmacist consultant.
An ironic twist to the bizarre HB1525, which suggests some lawmakers don’t consider medical marijuana to be advertisable as medical.
5. HB1909 Now Act 919
Became Act 666 on 4/26/2021
House Bill 1909 concerns the restrictions and public access to dispensaries and cultivation facilities. Before HB1909, the only allowed persons on dispensary property were staff and qualified patients.
Cultivation facilities were limited to staff. With this amendment, those who are not patients or staff can visit the non-restricted areas provided they are invited by the facility and follow strict security guidelines outlined in the bill.
From Sen. Gray and Sen. Leding, this is most likely geared towards media or news organizations and does not mean anyone can just walk into a dispensary now.
Become an Arkansas Marijuana Patient
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at 844-249-8714, and we can answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Arkansas.
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Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at 844-249-8714, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!