Medical Marijuana in Arkansas

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Arkansas voters approved medical marijuana's legalization in 2016. Medical marijuana sales in Arkansas began last week as cultivators began harvesting the plant and regulators finished the approval process for the state's first dispensaries.

As of Friday, May 17, the Arkansas Department of Health had issued 12,090 medical marijuana registry ID cards to patients and eligible caregivers, and has 1,182 applications in the approval process.

Guidelines have been put in place by the Arkansas State Board of Health. The Jonesboro Police Department has put together a quick guide to Medical Marijuana, highlights from these laws, as well as detailed reference links, can be found below.

Application for Card

Qualifying Patients: Must submit a completed application, $50.00 application fee, written certification from a physician provided within 30 days prior to the submittal of the application.

Designated caregivers: Must submit a completed application, $50.00 application fee, written certification from a physician provided within 30 days prior to the submittal of the application, and must pass a criminal history check (applicant pays fees).

Each card expires one year after date of issuance. Re-approval requires all the same information as initial application and must be done at least 30 days prior to expiration - application, fee, and written certification from a physician provided within 30 days prior to the submittal of the re-application.

The Arkansas Department of Health will maintain a list of all the persons to whom cards have been issued – this list is exempt from FOIA.

 

Labeling Standards

The container holding the usable marijuana must have a label that has all of the following information:

  • Producer’s business or trade name and cultivation facility or dispensary number

  • Business or trade name of cultivation facility or dispensary or cultivation facility or dispensary that packaged or distributed the product, if different from the producer

  • A unique identification number

  • Date of harvest

  • Name of strain

  • Net weight in U.S. customary and metric units

  • Concentration of THC and CBD

  • Activation time expressed in words or through a pictogram

  • Name of the lab that performed any test, any associated test batch number and any test analysis date

  • Universal symbol

  • A warning that states: "For use by qualified patients only. Keep out of reach of children."

  • A warning that states: “Marijuana use during pregnancy or breastfeeding poses potential harms.”

  • A warning that states: "This product is not approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or prevent any disease".

 The container holding the concentrate or extract must have a label that has the following information:

  • Cultivation facility or dispensary’s business or trade name and cultivation facility or dispensary number

  • Business or trade name of cultivation facility or dispensary that packaged or distributed the product, if different from the cultivation facility or dispensary

  • A unique identification number

  • Product identity (concentrate or extract)

  • Date the concentrate or extract was made

  • Net weight or volume in U.S. customary and metric units

  • If applicable, serving size and number of servings per container or amount suggested for use by the qualifying patient at any one time

  • Concentration or amount by weight or volume of THC and CBD in each amount suggested for use and in the container

  • Activation time, expressed in words or through a pictogram

  • Name of the lab that performed any test, any associated test batch number and any test analysis date

  • Universal symbol

  • A statement that reads: "This product is not approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or prevent any disease"; "For use by qualifying patients only. Keep out of reach of children."; "DO NOT EAT" in bold, capital letters; and “Marijuana use during pregnancy or breastfeeding poses potential harms.”

A label may not:

  • Contain any untruthful or misleading statements including, but not limited to, a health claim that is not supported by the totality of publicly available scientific evidence (including evidence from well-designed studies conducted in a manner which is consistent with generally recognized scientific procedures and principles), and for which there is significant scientific agreement, among experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate such claims

  • Be attractive to minors.

  • Usable marijuana that falls within more than one category must comply with the labeling requirements that apply to both categories, with the exception of the "DO NOT EAT" warning if the product is intended for human consumption.

  • The THC and CBD amount required to be on a label must be the value calculated by the laboratory that did the testing.

  • If usable marijuana has more than one test batch number, laboratory, or test analysis date associated with the usable marijuana that is being sold or transferred, each test batch number, laboratory and test analysis date must be included on a label.

  • If usable marijuana is placed in a package that is being re-used, the old label or labels must be removed and it must have a new label or labels.

  • Exit packaging must contain a label that reads: "Keep out of the reach of children."

 

Qualifying Medical Conditions

  • Cancer

  • Glaucoma

  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome

  • Hepatitis C

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • Tourette’s syndrome

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Ulcerative colitis

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Severe arthritis

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome

  • Peripheral neuropathy

  • Intractable pain which is pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment or surgical measures for more than six (6) months

  • Severe nausea

  • Seizures including without limitation those characteristic of epilepsy

  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms including without limitation those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

  • Any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the Department of Health

 

Definitions

“Acquire” or “Acquisition” means coming to possess marijuana by means of any legal source herein authorized, not from an unauthorized source, and in accordance with the Amendment and any rules promulgated under the Amendment

"Activation time" means the amount of time it is likely to take for an individual to begin to feel the effects of ingesting or inhaling a marijuana item.

“Amendment” means the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016.

“Approved Laboratory” means a laboratory that is accredited by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or similar accrediting entity as determined by the Department, and that has been approved by the Department specifically for the testing of usable marijuana.

“Assist” or “assisting” means helping a qualifying patient make medical use of marijuana by enabling the medical use by any means authorized under the Amendment.

“Batch” means, with regard to usable marijuana, a homogeneous, identified quantity of usable marijuana, no greater than ten (10) pounds, that is harvested during a specified time period from a specified cultivation area, and with regard to oils vapors and waxes derived from usable marijuana, means an identified quantity that is uniform, that is intended to meet specifications for identity, strength, and composition, and that is manufactured, packaged and labeled during a specified time period according to a single manufacturing, packaging and labeling protocol.

"CBD" means cannabidiol, Chemical Abstracts Service Number 13956-29-1. 1

"CBDA" means cannabidiolic acid, Chemical Abstracts Service Number 1244-58-2.

“Cardholder” means a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver

“Cultivation facility” means an entity that: Has been licensed by the Medical Marijuana Commission; Cultivates, prepares, manufactures, processes, packages, sells to and delivers usable marijuana to a dispensary;

“Designated caregiver” means a person who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age, has not been convicted of an excluded felony offense, has agreed to assist a physically disabled qualifying patient with the medical use of marijuana, and who has registered with the Department of Health pursuant to the requirements of the Amendment and these Rules. Designated caregiver includes, without limitation, a parent: Of a qualifying patient who is under the age of eighteen (18); and Required to register as a designated caregiver under the Amendment.

“Dispensary” means an entity that has been licensed by the Medical Marijuana Department pursuant to the requirements of the Amendment.

“Division” means the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division

“Excluded felony offense” means: A felony involving violence; Murder; Manslaughter; Kidnapping; Rape; Mayhem; Assault to do great bodily harm; Robbery; Burglary; Housebreaking; Breaking and entering; and Larceny; However, an offense that has been sealed by a court or for which a pardon has been granted is not considered an excluded felony offense; or A violation of state or federal controlled-substance law that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted, but not including: An offense for which the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration, or supervised release, was completed ten (10) or more years earlier; or An offense that has been sealed by a court or for which a pardon has been granted;

"Harvest lot" means a specifically identified quantity of marijuana that is uniform in strain, cultivated utilizing the same growing practices, harvested at the same time at the same location and cured under uniform conditions.

“Lot” mans an identified portion of a batch, that is uniform and that is intended to meet specifications for identity, strength, and composition; or in the case of a vapor, oil, or wax derived from usable marijuana, an identified quantity produced in a specified period of time in a manner that is uniform and that is intended to meet specifications for identity, strength, and composition.

“Commission” means the Medical Marijuana Commission.

“Medical use” means the acquisition, possession, use, delivery, transfer or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marijuana to treat or alleviate a qualifying patient’s qualifying medical condition or symptoms associated with the qualifying patient’s qualifying medical condition. “Physician” means a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathic medicine who holds a valid, unrestricted, and existing license to practice in the state of Arkansas and has been issued a current and active registration from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe controlled substances;

"Principal display panel" means the part of a label on a package or container that is most likely to be displayed, presented, shown or seen under customary conditions of display for sale or transfer.

"Process lot" means any amount of cannabinoid concentrate

“Qualifying patient” means a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a qualifying medical condition and who has registered with the Department in accordance with these Rules and the Amendment.

"Relative percentage difference" or "RPD" means the comparison of two quantities while taking into account the size of what is being compared as calculated under Appendix A, §1(A).

"Relative standard deviation" or "RSD" means the standard deviation expressed as a percentage of the mean recovery as calculated under Appendix A, §1(A).

“Registry identification card” means a document issued by the Department that identifies a person as a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver.

“Sealed” means expunge, remove, sequester, and treat as confidential the record or records of a felony offense

“Segregate” means to separate and withhold from use or sale batches, lots, or usable marijuana in order to first determine its suitability for use through testing by an approved laboratory.

“Testing” means the process and procedures provided by an approved laboratory for testing of usable marijuana, consistent with provisions of this rule.

“Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)” is a cannabinoid that is the primary psychoactive ingredient in usable marijuana.

"THCA" means tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, Chemical Abstracts Service Number 23978- 85-0.

"TNI" means The NELAC (National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference) Institute, a voluntary organization of state and federal environmental officials and interest groups purposed primarily to establish consensus standards for accrediting environmental laboratories.

"TNI EL Standards" means the adopted 2009 TNI Environmental Lab Standards (© 2009 The NELAC Institute standards adopted by NELAC), which describe the elements of laboratory accreditation developed and established by the consensus principles of TNI and that meet the approval requirements of TNI procedures and policies.

"Universal symbol" means the image, established by the Department and made available to licensees and registrants, indicating the container contains marijuana.

“Usable marijuana” means the stalks, seeds, roots, dried leaves, flowers, oils, vapors, waxes, and other portions of the marijuana plant and any mixture or preparation thereof. Usable marijuana does not include the weight of any ingredients other than marijuana that are combined with marijuana and prepared for consumption as food or drink.

“Visiting qualifying patient” means a patient with a qualifying medical condition who is not a resident of Arkansas or who has been a resident of Arkansas for less than thirty (30) days and who is in actual possession of a registry identification card or its equivalent that is issued under the laws of another state, district, territory, commonwealth, or insular possession of the United States and pertains to a qualifying medical condition under the Amendment; and 4

“Written certification” means a document signed by a physician stating that in the physician’s professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the qualifying patient’s medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a physician-patient relationship, the qualifying patient has a qualifying medical condition. A Written certification shall specify the qualifying patient’s qualifying medical condition, which also shall be noted in the qualifying patient’s records.

Other Resources

https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/medical-marijuana-faqs

https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/rules/Medical_Marijuana_Emergency_Rule_4-27-2017_(Signed).pdf

https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/pdf/Public_Health_Advisory-Cannabis.pdf