Arkansas (Talk Business & Politics) — After 53% of Arkansas voters approved the state’s Medical Marijuana Amendment in November, legislators passed 24 laws that changed it. But none severely restricted the availability of the drug, said David Couch, sponsor of the amendment.
“They did some crazy things, but it wasn’t anything that would affect the overall stability or the overall ability to get medicine, marijuana to the patients,” he said.
All of the laws passed required a two-thirds vote under the terms of the amendment. Fifteen of the laws were sponsored by Rep. Douglas House, R-North Little Rock, who was tasked as the point man on medical marijuana legislation prior to this year’s legislative session by Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia.
Several laws did limit how the drug can be used and who can use it. Among those were two sponsored by Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Elm Springs. Act 740 prohibits the smoking of marijuana in any place where smoking tobacco is prohibited, in the presence of a child under age 14 or a pregnant woman, in a motor vehicle, and in a place where it could affect a person not authorized to use marijuana. It also bans anyone under age 21 from smoking medical marijuana. Lundstrum’s Act 1023 prohibits dispensaries from using vending machines and prohibits marijuana use at dispensaries and cultivation facilities. It requires all packaging at dispensaries and cultivation facilities to be childproof. It also limits food or drink combined with marijuana to contain no more than 10 milligrams of active tetrahydrocannbinol, the chemical causing most of the drug’s psychological efforts.
Other limiting bills include Act 640 by Rep. House, which banned advertising, marketing, packaging, and promotions that would appeal to children, including artwork, building signage and product design. Act 1935 by Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, allows