Medical Marijuana

J. Froelich / Ozarks at Large

Liberty Defense Group, based in northwest Arkansas, is a veteran-owned and operated security firm that specializes in guarding many of Arkansas’ high-target medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation complexes. The company's mission is to protect patients and industry workers as well as secure facility assets. 

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Many industries across Arkansas have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the medical marijuana business is not one of them. According to Medical Marijuana Commission Spokesman Scott Hardin, the industry closed out 2020 having made about $175 million in sales on 26,000 pounds of product. The state also started last year with fewer than ten open dispensaries but is starting 2021 with 32, as well as a lot more patients with medical marijuana cards.

Courtesy / Jeff W. on Unsplash

Medical marijuana sales in Arkansas rose after a COVID-19 pandemic was declared last March, resulting in marijuana flower shortages. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, which regulates the industry, has recently licensed several more medical marijuana cultivation facilities to open by next year. Existing Arkansas cultivators have filed suit to block industry expansion, claiming there is adequate supply. 

ADH Reinstates Medical Marijuana Card Expiration Dates

Sep 3, 2020
Courtesy / Arkansas Department of Health

Medical marijuana registry cards are typically good for a year, but the Arkansas Department of Health suspended expiration dates earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ADH is now reinstating them and all cards that expire on or before Sept. 30 must be renewed by the end of the month.

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Arkansas's medical marijuana industry appears to be immune to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Scott Hardin, spokesperson for the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission. Sales are surging, with more dispensaries providing home delivery.

As the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise, those involved with political petitions are finding it difficult to gather signatures. We hear from Melissa Fults, the executive director of Arkansans for Cannabis Reform, which is behind the Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment, about the challenges.

The Harrison City Council has approved an ordinance to control public use of medical marijuana within city limits by patients registered to use. Police Chief Chris Graddy, who authored the draft code, discusses the rationale and how the new law will be implemented. We also survey other Northwest Arkansas municipalities which have enacted or are considering similar measures.

NWA Has Strongest Medical Marijuana Sales in State

Feb 24, 2020
Courtesy / NWA Online

Since the first medical marijuana dispensary in Arkansas opened last May, patients across the state have spent over $40 million purchasing more than 6,200 pounds of medical marijuana. There are 18 dispensaries currently in operation, but more than 30 percent of sales are taking place at the four dispensaries in Northwest Arkansas.

Courtesy / Harrison Police Department

Harrison City Council, Thursday evening, will consider a draft ordinance -- one of the first like it in the state -- to regulate the use of medical marijuana within city limits. Assistant Police Chief John Cagle says if passed, the code will allow city police to strictly enforce existing state rules and regulations.

Courtesy / UAMS

Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences are documenting public beliefs and perceptions of marijuana as a medical treatment through a series of anonymous surveys, the first longitudinal study of its kind in the U.S.