Rules and regulations to govern the upcoming legal use of medical marijuana by Arkansans have cleared their second legislative hurdle but face a final test Friday.
In a meeting Tuesday, the Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee reviewed and approved final versions of rules from the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, Alcoholic Beverage Control and the state Board of Health.
Emergency versions of those rules had already been reviewed and approved during legislative meetings last month. Tuesday’s action was needed to make those rules permanent. The subcommittee’s decision is now subject to final review Friday by Arkansas Legislative Council.
Before the committee’s action, lawmakers quizzed bureaucrats to see whether particular scenarios had been addressed in the 128 pages of rules.
Answers to many of the questions focused on a database to track sales; the state still needs to buy the database.
For example, Sen. Larry Teague, D-Nashville, said one man told him that as soon as the man was able to get a doctor’s recommendation and a state-approved marijuana bottle, he would grow the plant himself and stuff the marijuana container.
If anyone asked, Teague said, the man would say he was using a doctor’s recommendation to legally purchase the plant.
“Is that going to be possible?” the senator asked.
Mary Robin Casteel, director of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said that law enforcement officials also are concerned about that scenario.
To help address it, she said the state is procuring a “seed to sale” database to track purchases by patients and sales from those growing marijuana to those dispensaries selling it.
Law enforcement officers will be able