By John Lyon / Arkansas News Bureau
LITTLE ROCK — A legislative subcommittee on Tuesday reviewed and approved three agencies’ proposed rules for Arkansas’ medical-marijuana program, which is set to launch with the acceptance of applications for cultivation and dispensary licenses June 30.
The Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee signed off on rules proposed by the state Department of Finance and Administration’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, the state Department of Health and the state Medical Marijuana Commission. The rules go next to the Legislative Council, which is scheduled to consider giving them final approval Friday.
Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment in November to allow people with certain medical conditions to buy and use marijuana.
Jerry Cox, president of the Christian conservative Family Council, was the only member of the public to address the subcommittee Tuesday.
Cox said the Family Council does not have “severe heartburn” about the proposed rules but does have some concerns. One of those concerns, he said, is that it is unclear whether multiple facilities could be operated under one license.
Sen. Terry Rice, R-Waldron, asked Alcohol Beverage Control Division Director Mary Casteel if she could answer Cox’s question.
“The ABC’s reading of the amendment and the commission’s reading of the amendment and the applications that are going out within the next week contemplate one license for one location,” Casteel said.
People who have asked the ABC whether they could operate more than one facility under a single license have been told no, she said.
Cox also said the proposed rule requiring Arkansas residency — at least 60 percent of the owners of a marijuana facility would have to have been Arkansas residents for at least the past seven years — says nothing about requiring U.S. citizenship.
Casteel said after the meeting that Cox is correct