LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – On the last day of the legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill to implement additional taxes on medical marijuana. Supporters say the money is needed to implement the new program, but opponents argue it will drive up the costs for patients.
Medical marijuana was seen as one of the biggest issues on the plate of lawmakers during the session. On the last day, lawmakers taking up several marijuana related issues.
One measure allows public schools to bar students who are medical marijuana patients from attending class or events while under the influence of the drug.
Another would impose a special four percent tax on medical marijuana.
Attorney David Couch, who sponsored the amendment to legalize, says total taxes on the drug could now reach 25 percent.
“I think it’s horrible that they did that, because basically it’s going to be the patient that’s bearing responsibility for this tax,” Couch said.
Supporters say the money is needed to implement the state program without draining resources from other areas.
The tax bill is set to go into effect July 1 — the same day the medical marijuana commission will begin taking applications for licenses for marijuana cultivation facilities and dispensaries.