OK'd medical pot cards up to 534 | Arkansas Blog

OK'd medical pot cards up to 534

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The state Department of Health has approved 534 applications for medical marijuana registry identification cards, spokeswoman Katie White said today, which is an increase of 130 over last week's total of 404. That's a small percentage of the applications the department expects to receive. Applications started coming in June 30.

That means that 534 people have gotten from their physicians written certification that they have one or more of the 18 medical conditions that the state says may be treated with medical marijuana. (Physicians will not prescribe medical marijuana; they will only attest to the fact that their "bona fide" patients do suffer from one of the qualifying illnesses, such as cancer, glaucoma, Crohn's disease, ALS, intractable pain and others.) Applicants must also have provided a photocopy of their driver’s license or state ID and paid a $50 nonrefundable application fee.

Cards will not be issued until a month before medical marijuana is available in dispensaries. That is likely to be several months off.

 The Associated Press reported today that no one has applied for a license to grow or distribute medical marijuana. Such applications go to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the state Department of Finance and Administration. There is a Sept. 18 deadline to apply for a license to grow or dispense medical marijuana.

To be granted such licenses, applicants have to jump through several hoops, including background checks, greenhouse security, meeting location requirements and inventory and transportation regulations, among other rules. DFA spokesman Scott Hardin told the AP that it was not surprising that no applications have yet been received because of the conditions that must be met.

The ABC will grant up to five cultivation licenses and 32 dispensary licenses, according to the AP. The fee to apply for a cultivation license is $15,000, and applicants must provide proof of assets of $1 million; the fee to cultivate is $100,000. The fee to apply for a dispensary license is $7,500, and applicants must provide proof of $200,000 in assets. The license fee is $15,000. Licenses must be renewed annually.

Once licenses are granted, facilities will require inspections before they can go into operation, and greenhouses will have to grow the marijuana plants.


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