Arkansas Marijuana News

Brandi Atkins, an Arizona resident and former dancer, was diagnosed in late 2015 with a rare autoimmune disease that made her joints and muscles swell, causing chronic pain. She popped in and out of the hospital with a cornucopia of prescription medications handed out to alleviate her pain, ease her symptoms, and navigate around her type 1 diabetes. These medications would often clash with her disease and cause her blood sugar to soar. In desperation, she turned to medical marijuana.

Almost immediately, Adkins noticed an improvement in balance, palatable reduction in pain, and (most importantly) hope for her future. The dispensary she visited took the time to understand her specific concerns, her goals, and the particulars of her health conditions. Thanks to medical marijuana, Adkins feels like she can dance again.

This hopeful scenario plays out in dispensaries across Arizona, where more than 100,000 patients suffering everything from epilepsy to chronic pain find relief through medical marijuana.

It’s an interesting situation: legalized medical marijuana and dispensaries in one of the United States’ most conservative territories. How do these conflicting events coexist? Have you ever wondered what exactly is the state of medical marijuana affairs in Arizona? Here’s our in-depth explanation of everything you always wanted to know about Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws (but were too afraid to ask).

The road to marijuana legalization in Arizona Arizona Marijuana Legalization

1 min 00 sec video

When the federal government originally passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, the predecessor to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, all American states had criminalized cannabis in one way or another. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that Arizona state legislators began listening to decades-long calls for marijuana law reform.

In 1996, Arizona passed Proposition 200, allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana (specifically, controlled substances)

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LITTLE ROCK, AR — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association has a new chairman of its board of directors, and she’s from Fayetteville.

Dr. Regina Thurman will take over Dr. Steve Cathey’s position on the board, the association said in a statement Monday. Cathey chose not to serve on the board to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest with his position as chairman of the state State Medical Board.

The group said it’ll be a “leading voice” for cultivators, distributors and business serving the medical marijuana industry. (For more information on this and other neighborhood stories, subscribe to Patch to receive daily newsletters and breaking news alerts. If you have an iPhone, click here to get the free Patch iPhone app.)

Voters in November approved legalizing medical marijuana for patients with certain medical conditions, and the state is accepting applications for cultivators and dispensaries until Sept. 18.

The association’s acting executive director is David Couch, who headed the campaign for the medical marijuana measure.

Image via Shutterstock

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Originally published August 22, 2017.

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A Fayetteville pain management physician will serve as chairman of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association, the group announced Monday.

Regina Thurman is medical director for Optimal Pain and Wellness. She specializes in using comprehensive approaches for the treatment of pain, according to a news release.

“As a pain management specialist, I recognize that prescription medical marijuana may be an important alternative treatment for a patient, as opposed to opioids, many of which are highly addictive,” she said in a statement.

She could not be reached for comment Monday.

The association had named Dr. Steven Cathey, a neurosurgeon who is head of the state Medical Board, as chairman. However, Cathey, whose office is in North Little Rock, said after that earlier announcement that he was never part of the group.

“I believe that organized medicine should be involved in implementing the policies regarding this newly approved medicinal drug, but because of what I believed to be a conflict of interest, I declined to accept an offer to serve on this association,” he said in an interview last week.

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The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association is competing with the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association, which formed earlier this year, to represent the industry in Arkansas. The state currently is accepting applications for growing and selling the drug for medical purposes. Medical marijuana was approved by voters in the November 2016 general election.

The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association has been holding events across Arkansas. For example, today at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Little Rock, the association is holding a seminar on making marijuana extracts using ethanol.

The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association last week hired Erin Holland, owner of Amplify Digital Media & Marketing, to serve as media

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Arkansas agency seeks grant to expand veterans cemetery

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs is in the preliminary stages of obtaining a federal grant to expand a North Little Rock veterans cemetery following an uptick in burials.

An evaluation determined the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery, which expanded last year, would run out of certain types of graves in four years. Oversize, in-ground graves would run out by 2020, and there would be no columbarium space for cremated veterans by 2021. More additions weren’t expected until 2019.

Bill Wussick, assistant director of cemeteries for the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, said department officials hope the grant can fund several infrastructure improvements, including an expanded roadway and an addition to the administration building.

“We are experiencing an increase of interments but have not done an analysis to determine the cause,” Wussick said. “However, I would not rule that out.”

The department of veteran affairs said in its request that it needs $750,000 to pay design fees and $20,000 for startup costs, such as an environmental assessment.

“The state needed to show a commitment very soon to provide matching funds in order to receive federal funds,” said Duncan Baird, state budget administrator. “That’s why we wanted to act quickly on this.”

Wussick said any state funds spent at the beginning of the project will eventually be reimbursed.

Arkansas medical marijuana group names board chairman

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association has named a Fayetteville physician as the chairman of its board of directors.

The association says in a statement Monday that Dr. Regina Thurman would replace Dr. Steve Cathey on the board.

The group says Cathey chose not to serve on its board to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest with his

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It could be described as just a piece of paper, a victim protective order. However, for one victim of domestic violence it was her ticket out of an abusive relationship.(KTUL)

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — 

It could be described as just a piece of paper, a victim protective order. However, for one victim of domestic violence it was her ticket out of an abusive relationship.

“How many times did you try to leave and end up coming back?” asked Channel 8’s I-team.

“I can’t even tell you, I don’t know,” said the woman, who we’re not identifying.

Tulsa county is seeing a huge increase in permanent victim protective orders. In 2016, Tulsa county issued 86 percent more permanent victim protective orders compared to 2015. For victims, it can take years before a judge grants a permanent victim protective order.

“It took two years to finally make it a permanent protective order. We lived under temporary protective orders for two years almost exactly,” said the woman.

The journey to get a permanent VPO is a long and complicated one. First of all, deputies like Michael Roda have to find the person listed on the protective order.

“I get the ones with addresses, but I also get the ones without,” said Deputy Roda, with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

If Deputy Roda can’t find them, it’s up to the victim to file a new emergency protective order every two weeks.

“Until you can’t get off work, can’t get child care, or can’t find a place to park at the courthouse,” said Donna Mathews with Domestic Violence Intervention Services, or DVIS. “(Getting a VPO) is a very trying process for people

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After passing restrictive medical marijuana legislation late last year, Arkansas’ Department of Finance and Administration has already signed up over 500 residents hoping to treat a number of serious illnesses with the all-natural herb, but until this week, no one had even submitted an application to either grow or sell the still federally scheduled plant.

This week though, state officials received two applications from prospective dispensary owners trying to fill the gap. According to Northwest Arkansas News, the state will not release any information about the applicants until the submission deadline passes next month.

If the applications are accepted, Arkansas would have the framework for patients to buy and dispensaries to sell medical cannabis, but without any applications from the cultivation side of the industry, the dispensaries and patients could both be entirely out of luck.   

State officials hope to kick off the medical marijuana program sometime next year. But with only two applicants vying for dispensary licenses (out of a possible 32 available licenses), and zero cultivation license applications (with 5 of them up for grabs) having been submitted with the September 18th deadline rapidly approaching, things are not looking good for medical marijuana in the Arkansas.

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Updated 2:55 pm, Monday, August 21, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association has named a Fayetteville physician as the chairman of its board of directors.

The association says in a statement Monday that Dr. Regina Thurman would replace Dr. Steve Cathey on the board.

The group says Cathey chose not to serve on its board to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest with his position as chairman of the Arkansas State Medical Board.

The group says it’ll be a “leading voice” for cultivators, distributors and business serving the medical marijuana industry.

Voters in November approved legalizing medical marijuana for patients with certain medical conditions, and the state is accepting applications for cultivators and dispensaries until Sept. 18.

The association’s acting executive director is David Couch, who headed the campaign for the medical marijuana measure.

Read More Here...

We’ve been tracking Dewmar International BMC Inc (OTCMKTS:DEWM) for quite some time, since the company announced the signing of a licensing agreement with KW Brands, LLC of Louisiana for the purpose of operating Willie’s Duck Diner, owned by Willie Robertson, the star of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.”

The stock has been rebounding in the month of August so far, and there have also been some updates on the company’s activities in the medical marijuana space.

Dewmar International BMC Inc (OTCMKTS:DEWM) has announced that it partnered with a long-standing Arkansas company in a joint effort to see a cannabis cultivation and dispensary permit to be issued during fourth quarter of 2017.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission is responsible for awarding licenses for the operation of medical marijuana cultivation facilities and dispensaries pursuant to Amendment 98 of the Constitution of the State of Arkansas of 1874. Amendment 98, also known as The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 was voted in by the citizens of Arkansas in November 2016 with a majority vote.

The commission anticipates issuing five (5) cultivation facility licenses and thirty-two (32) dispensary licenses with a maximum of four (4) dispensary licenses in each of the eight geographic zones. Dewmar and its Arkansas affiliate plan to apply for two dispensaries in different zones while singling out one specified location for a cultivation facility.

“Both myself and/or a representative of Dewmar have spent considerable time in Arkansas since December becoming familiar with the business and political landscape within the state. We were fortunate enough to have hired one of the top lobbyists in the State to help us with our goals in Arkansas. His contacts and the introductions he has provided led to my being a guest speaker on the topic of medical marijuana at a local town hall meeting

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AUSTIN, Texas — Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Chairman Joe Moody held a public hearing to discuss reducing state marijuana possession penalties on Wednesday and to support HB 334, which was introduced by Chairman Moody in the special legislative session in July, according to a press release.

HB 334 would make possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil citation punishable by a $250 fine but not a criminal conviction; courts can allow some of the fine to be paid off through the offender taking drug education courses or doing community service. For a third offense, the civil penalty must include a drug education requirement. On a fourth offense, a prosecutor can proceed with a Class C misdemeanor instead of a civil citation.

“This week’s hearing on drug enforcement reform is another step in the ongoing effort to right-size our drug penalties and be smarter on the issue,” said Chairman Moody. “It’s something we’ve been working on and will continue to work on through the interim, into the next session, and beyond for as long as it takes. I know we can do better, and I’ll keep fighting for that.”

Chairman Moody’s efforts have continued to be recognized by the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, which gave him their Law and Order Award the past three sessions, and by the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, which named him ‘Representative of the Year’ last session.

“Most Texans oppose current penalties for marijuana possession,” said Nick Novello, an active duty Dallas police officer with 35 years of experience. “Enforcing unpopular and unreasonable laws creates unnecessary hostility between law enforcement and the people in our communities.”

More than 60,000 Texans are arrested for marijuana possession annually, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Advocates assert that this distracts law enforcement and prosecutors from priorities

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A mother claims marijuana killed her son by triggering a heart arrhythmia.

Michael Ziobro, 22, was found dead on his bedroom floor in New Jersey by his mother Kristina in April. 

Paramedics attempted to revive him but he was already unresponsive, according to the medical marijuana report.

But his family believes he died from smoking marijuana because the medical examiner found traces of weed in his blood.

Now, Kristina and her husband Victor want everyone to know that marijuana with high levels of THC caused the condition that killed him.

‘It’s crazy. People think, “Oh, pot can’t hurt you. It’s natural”,’ said Kristina Ziobro, to NBC News.  

The family from Springfield, New Jersey, is not convinced that there are no side effects to using medical marijuana.

A study published in February looked into if marijuana could increase risks of users developing conditions linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. 

Researchers at Georgia State University analyzed 3,051 adults over the age of 20.

They studied the relationship between marijuana use and risk of metabolic syndromes such as heart disease and stroke. 

‘Duration of marijuana use seems to be a significant factor associated with metabolic syndrome,’ the researchers said. 

Adults in the study were classified as ‘regular marijuana users’ if they smoked or consumed marijuana at least once a month over the course of a year.

The researchers focused on symptoms such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high concentrations of fat in the blood and excess abdominal fat, which commonly lead to metabolic syndromes. 

They found that people who use marijuana more than triple their risk of dying from high blood pressure than those that do not. 

But the medical examiner who looked at Michael is not convinced that marijuana is

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