- Hammond Lewis
Breakdown of What To Expect For Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program in 2022
The Arkansas medical marijuana program has evolved since its first dispensary in 2019. With new products, more dispensaries, and some changes to telemedicine, patients with an Arkansas medical marijuana card will probably look forward to even more changes in 2022.
With two proposals for outright legalization, a growing concern for product quality, and an immense need for more affordable prices, there are certainly some challenges coming up for the Natural State.
In this article, we’ll cover what the state of medical marijuana could look like in 2022, we’ll do a lookback at some of the evolving changes in 2021, and talk about what you might expect out of this year for Arkansas cannabis.
The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program in 2022
Telemedicine is Back, Technically
One of the bigger complications for the Arkansas medical marijuana program in 2021 was telemedicine. While the state once approved measures that allowed telemedicine for assigning a medical marijuana certification and even passed a bill that should have kept telemedicine around, legislators decided to go a very different direction.
While telemedicine is not approved for new marijuana card registrations, telehealth renewals are now approved in Arkansas in 2022.
While we don’t really know why SB703 has been so heavily challenged by Arkansas lawmakers, it remains a heavily debated topic and we hope the future landscape of telemedicine in Arkansas encourages more access, rather than exclusivity.
Legalization Efforts Pose Unique Challenges to AR MMJ Program
Legalization is also on the horizon for Arkansas voters and legislators in 2022, with two initiatives looking to be submitted this year.
One, the Arkansas True Grass initiative offers a grassroots approach that legalizes cannabis, creates recreational dispensaries, permits home growing and includes record expungement, while keeping most of the infrastructure for medical marijuana separate and remains in-state focused for financing and partnerships.
The other proposal is from a more effectively financed group, the Arkansans for Marijuana Reform, that includes big names and bigger money offering recreational legalization without home growing, converts medical marijuana dispensaries into recreational dispensaries, and allows for looser out-of-state partnerships.
Arkansas Medical Marijuana Products in 2022
Arkansas Hash is Lacking, in Every Category
Another area we hope for improvement for Arkansas cannabis in 2022 is hash.
One of the bigger issues with new medical marijuana programs is that they offer wide-open doors for brand new patients to take advantage of products they might be unfamiliar with.
While having these products is essential, how you manufacture these products and the comparable quality to existing products in other markets is often overlooked, and unfortunately that’s the case with Arkansas hash or concentrates.
Arkansas hash is full of tricky maneuvers that are advertised as great products, when they’re mostly just great ways to cut corners, reduce expenses, and produce lower quality products, such as CRC (color remediation column) and “whole plant extracts”.
Pro Tip: “Whole plant extracts” can be great when cultivators use good buds and trim, but cultivators will take advantage of this label by using undesirable flower that would otherwise be discarded and excess materials like stems and leaves. This is what gives a lot of concentrates the “hay” flavor and can cause the hash to acquire a green tint due to too much contamination and chlorophyll, which is not desirable.
Arkansas hash is severely under par in just about every category, with no quality rosins, no live resin, everything is BHO, and CRC is being sold like a novel “enhancer” when it is merely a clever way to make poor hash look better while keeping its poor taste.
Not to mention cultivators label anything over 80% THC as products deserving of a special label, and accordingly, an even higher price.
We hope cultivators take a more thoughtful approach in 2022, especially considering the cost of concentrates compared to other markets (est. 400% retail markup in Arkansas compared to Oklahoma).
Arkansas Flower is AAA Grade
Arkansas flower is the opposite of Arkansas hash.
Brands like Revolution (Delta) and Good Day Farm have produced some amazing quality cannabis flower in Arkansas.
With plenty of strains over 25% THC and some even reaching into the low 30%, you can easily find top-shelf quality flower at the level of quality and price point comparable to states like California and Colorado.
You can find very high quality indicas or sativas with excellent terpene profiles with healthy looking colas very commonly, and many dispensaries offer discounts on flower that doesn’t meet the AAA standards of Arkansas cannabis flower.
The Future of Arkansas Cannabis in 2022
Edibles, Tinctures, & Novel Products
Arkansas edibles can mostly be put into two categories: gummies & chocolate.
The chocolate (especially from Native Green Wellness) is top tier, tastes incredible, and remains at a relatively strong price point.
Good Day Farm offers some of the best gummies, and they’re probably the best value for your dollar in edibles, though their medicated honey always flies off the shelves.
Arkansas has strict regulations on product advertising and edibles that don’t allow for things like cannabis drinks, elaborate foods, or high dosages.
Tinctures, CBD, and salves are also available, though they have remained a lower-tier product compared to the availability of cannabis flower and edibles.
Better Prices, Better Products in 2022
Now that products are commonly available in Arkansas dispensaries, we hope to see better quality and lower prices in 2022, though it might be a bit of a stretch for Arkansas, which hopes to extract as much profit as possible.
The barrier to entry with Arkansas cannabis is certainly price, and affordability comes into question when looking at the average cost of a cannabis product compared to salary in Arkansas, cannabis is quite expensive here.
And while patients are hoping for lower prices, if a legalization effort passes that converts medical marijuana dispensaries into recreational dispensaries before any new recreational dispensaries are installed, patients will find themselves fighting over product availability with the masses of people looking to shop for legal cannabis.
2022 is set to be an exciting and critical year for cannabis in Arkansas, and as the window comes closer to legalization, we hope that lawmakers and legislators consider how the current program can work more effectively for patients and their bank accounts.
Become an Arkansas Marijuana Patient
Arkansas offers medical marijuana in a variety of products to patients who have received a medical marijuana certification, and telehealth renewals are officially approved!
Qualifying Arkansas patients can schedule an appointment to renew their medical marijuana card with one of our certified physicians and continue using medical marijuana as an alternative treatment.
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.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
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!
Check out Arkansas Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Arkansas.