- Hammond Lewis
Lawsuit From Good Day Farm Could Mean Pre-Rolls, Bongs, Telehealth, & More for Arkansas Cannabis
The Arkansas medical marijuana program has seen a lot of progress since its passing in 2016, though the program has fallen victim to a slew of amendments changing how it operates since then.
Some of these changes include how cannabis companies can market themselves, the products they can offer, and even restrictions on carrying certain paraphernalia have been added to the original medical cannabis program, titled Amendment 98.
Recently, a new lawsuit from Good Day Farm challenges the amendments to the program, claiming that the amendments were unconstitutionally added, and seeking to revert back to Amendment 98’s original language.
This would effectively overturn individual amendments to the program and remove certain restrictions on advertising and product inventory, as well as ending the conflicting legislation surrounding telemedicine.
Good Day Farm Wants the Original Medical Marijuana Program Back in Arkansas
Changes to Program Have Caused Unnecessary Burdens on AR Cannabis
Since its passing, legislators have opted to change Amendment 98 twenty-seven times.
The changes to the amendment include clarification of language, changing statutes, adding new policies, or implementing new restrictions. Good Day Farm claims that the changes are unconstitutional, citing that the amendments should only have been able to be legally passed through votes from the people, and not just legislative power.
The telemedicine situation in Arkansas is of utmost concern for many patients who would otherwise apply for a medical marijuana card if they could consult with a physician online.
Ironically, after the ban on telemedicine was implemented, Arkansas quickly passed legislation to reintroduce telehealth procedures for medical marijuana cards, though the Department of Health has failed to implement telemedicine for initial card applications, opting to follow the conflicting law in Amendment 98.
Currently, the Department of Health is accepting telemedicine for medical marijuana card renewals, though they aren’t accepting telehealth for initial applications.
The Heart of Good Day Farm’s Lawsuit
As it stands, amendment 7 to the state constitution states that measures can only be amended by a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly, defining “measure” as a “law, bill, resolution, charter, ordinance, constitutional amendment, or legislative proposal of any character”.
However, a State Supreme Court Ruling from 1951 under Chief Justice Griffin Smith ruled that if an amendment of any weight were to be passed, the people it would affect would have a say, not just their representatives alone.
This ruling is likely at the heart of Good Day Farm’s lawsuit, and although Supreme Court rulings can be reversed, it’s the backbone of GDF’s case that legislators have dramatically changed the structure of the medical marijuana program without the legal means to do so.
Good Day Farm’s goal is to revert back to the original form of Amendment 98, which would remove the strange restriction on pre-roll joint sales at dispensaries, as well as smooth out the conflicting legislation on telehealth in Arkansas.
The Complicated Telemedicine Failure in Arkansas
No Surprise From State With Failed Healthcare System
Arkansas is ranked #49 in the Nation for its health care, and when you look at the example of Arkansas’ failure with telemedicine, it’s no surprise.
Amendment 98 has a clause that was added in 2017 that restricts physicians from using telemedicine as a means for medical marijuana card certifications, and this is the root of all the problems the State has seen with telemedicine.
Five years after Amendment 98’s passing, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Arkansas quickly moved to temporarily allow telehealth procedures for medical marijuana card initial applications to offer an environment for patients to consult with a physician, from the safety of their own home.
Though the temporary lift on the telemedicine ban was set to expire, Arkansas moved to pass legislation that would permanently allow telemedicine for medical marijuana card certifications.
In July of 2021, legislators passed Act 1112, which formally legalized telehealth procedures for medical marijuana certifications in Arkansas, which should act as the final stand in the debate over telemedicine and medical marijuana cards.
For whatever reason, the Department of Health has failed to implement the law of Act 112 for nearly a year now, citing everything from “we’re not aware of any changes to the law” to “we’re not prepared to accept applications at this time”.
This legislative conflict has caused enough setbacks for cannabis companies and medical marijuana patients to require an outright lawsuit from Good Day Farm, and it’s certainly time to put the ignorant ploys of the DOH in the past and follow the law instead.
Become an Arkansas Marijuana Patient
The Arkansas medical marijuana program is open and available to patients who are diagnosed with any of the State’s approved conditions. The Department of Health is currently accepting applications for renewal for medical marijuana cards, and you can renew your medical marijuana card online today!
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!
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