A group of local medical professionals has banded together in an effort to bring medical marijuana to town.
On Monday night, the group told the Eureka Springs City Council about its plan to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the city. Dr. Dan Bell introduced the group to the council, saying the group includes local doctors, nurses and others in the medical field. Bell said the group is determined to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Eureka Springs to offset opiate overdoses.
“Last year, 54,000 Americans died of overdoses, and most of those were opiates. That’s up 11 percent from the year before,” Bell said. “Meanwhile, marijuana’s overdose rate, as you probably know, is holding steady at zero. It’s a natural, safer medication.”
Bell said Arkansans are considering medical marijuana a viable alternative to medications already out there, recalling the vote last year to legalize medical marijuana in the state. Bell said the state committee on medical marijuana has created a set of rules for those looking to open a dispensary or cultivation site.
“Starting July 1, they’re going to receive applications,” Bell said.
There will be 32 dispensaries spread throughout the state, he said, with four in Eureka Springs’ district. Bell said this district includes big cities like Springdale and Rogers.
“I’ve seen our mayor quoted that he hopes we’re going to get two in Eureka. I quite honestly think that’s very unlikely,” Bell said. “If we get one, it’s going to be amazing. It has to be done perfectly with the right group with the perfect application and it’s going to have to have community support.”
Bell said four other groups in Eureka Springs are applying to open a dispensary in town, too. What sets his group apart, Bell said, is years of medical experience.
“Y’all, it’s the