Legislation

This page shows the pending legislation that will affect the Arkansas medical marijuana industry.

Pending Bills:

HB1298

  • Brief: Would require cultivation facility and dispensary licenses to only be issued to a ‘natural person’, as opposed to a corporation. This is similar to how the Arkansas Beverage Control’s (ABC) alcohol licenses are awarded.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    No negative impact on the industry other than a slight burden during entity formation – No impact on patients
  • Update: As of March 20th, Passed both houses, waiting to be signed by the Governor

HB1371

  • Brief: Clarifies the language in the amendment in regards to who can own a cultivation facility or dispensary. Limits ownership to a ‘natural person’.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because it provides needed legalese clarification – No impact on patients
  • Update: As of April 3rd, Passed the House, passed the Senate committee, failed in a full Senate vote

HB1391

  • Brief: Gives power to municipalities over where dispensaries and cultivation facilities can be located. The original amendment says that a cultivation facility or dispensary can be located anywhere a retail pharmacy could be located, usually commercial zoning. Gives power to municipalities to regulate dispensaries and cultivation facilities. Also, would allow for a city council or county quorum court to prohibit dispensaries and cultivation facilities by a simple vote instead of referring it to a vote of its citizens. Creates an emergency clause that says that AMMC issuance of licenses should be delayed until municipalities can setup their own zoning regulations to govern medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Robin Lundstrum, Elm Springs
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry because it allows for city or county government to prohibit cultivation facilities and dispensaries without a vote of its citizens – Bad for patients because it could limit access to medical marijuana and delay its implementation
  • Update: As of March 8th, Still in the House Committee on House Rules

HB1392

  • Brief: Bans the selling of edibles, or more specifically prohibits the selling of food or drink that contains marijuana.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Robin Lundstrum, Elm Springs
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry because it limits popular medical marijuana products – Bad for patients because it bans edibles, a popular form of ingestion because it makes medical marijuana more palatable – Could force patients to more potent forms of medical marijuana
  • Update: As of March 20th, failed in a full House vote

HB1508

  • Brief: Advertising prohibition. Bans any advertising for medical marijuana or related services.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry because it limits first amendment freedom of speech – Bad for patients because it will be harder to learn about new MMJ treatments/forms of consumption available to them. Not free-market friendly.
  • Update: As of Feb. 19th, Still in the House Committee on House Rules

HB1679

  • Brief: Funds the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:     Good for the industry because it helps make sure that Arkansas MMJ is implemented properly
  • Update: As of March 1st, Sitting in the Joint Budget Committee

HB1989

  • Brief: Bans the smoking of medical marijuana where cigarette smoking is banned, and smoking MMJ around a minor would be considered child abuse.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Robin Lundstrum, Elm Springs
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry and patients because it defines smoking MMJ around a minor as child abuse
  • Update: As of March 19th, Sitting in House Committee on House Rules

HB1990

  • Brief: Bans dispensaries from growing medical marijuana.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Robin Lundstrum, Elm Springs
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry because it makes owning a dispensary less financially viable, and bad for patients because it limits variety and competition
  • Update: As of March 19th, Sitting in the House Committee on House Rules

HB1991

  • Brief: Prohibits marijuana extraction by individuals. Prohibits MMJ vending machines. Bans MMJ advertising. Requires all MMJ containers to be child-resistant.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Robin Lundstrum, Elm Springs
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Unconstitutional because of the advertising ban. This would hurt both the industry and patients.
  • Update: As of March 19th, Sitting in the House Committee on House Rules

HB2011

  • Brief: Clarifies the distances that dispensaries and cultivation facilities must be from churches, schools, and daycare operations. Expands on the security requirements for cultivation facilities.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Michelle Gray, Melbourne
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Neutral – codifies security requirements that should be left up to the ABC regulations.
  • Update: As of March 19th, Sitting in the House Committee on House Rules

HB2094

  • Brief: Allows importing of marijuana seeds and clones.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because there was no legal way to actually start growing medical marijuana
  • Update: As of March 19th, Sitting in the House Committee on House Rules

HB2190

  • Brief: Bans dispensaries from selling MMJ smoking paraphernalia. Vaporizers would be required to be sold as an alternative. Requires dispensaries to appoint a pharmacist director. Dispensary licenses would be awarded by merit.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Clint Penzo, Springdale
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Neutral – changing the dispensary application process to merit-based is good. Banning the selling of smoking paraphernalia and requiring a pharmacist is overreach.
  • Update: As of March 19th, Sitting in the House Committee on House Rules

HB2222

  • Brief: Allows importing of marijuana seeds and clones.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Robin Lundstrum, Elm Springs
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Neutral – codifies security requirements that should be left up to the ABC regulations.
  • Update: As of March 20th, Sitting in the House Committee on House Rules

HB2239

  • Brief: Clarifies MMJ program funding. Competing bill to other funding proposals.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Fredrick J. Love, Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Neutral
  • Update: As of March 20th, Sitting in the House Committee on House Rules

HB2246

  • Brief: Synthetic marijuana shell bill.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Jimmy Gazaway, Paragould
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Neutral – no information.
  • Update: As of March 20th, filed

 SB130

  • Brief: Adds THC to the definition of DWI. Sets the limit of THC concentration in a person’s blood to 5 nanograms.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Gary Stubblefield, Branch
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry because it places unnecessary burdens on patients – Bad for patients because it limits their ability to consume MMJ when they need it
  • Update: As of Feb. 19th, Still in the Senate Committee on Judiciary

SB238

  • Brief: Would delay the implementation of Arkansas’ entire MMJ program until medicinal marijuana is legal federally. Under the current presidential administration, there is a very small probability of MMJ becoming permitted on a federal level within the next four years.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Jason Rapert, Conway
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry because delays the implementation of MMJ indefinitely – Bad for patients because they will not have access to their medicine – This is a major defiance of the will of Arkansas voters
  • Update: As of Feb. 19th, Still in the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor

SB243

  • Brief: Changes the distribution of sales tax revenues levied on MMJ. Half of the revenues would go instead to a Department of Career Education Public School Fund.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Jane English, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry because it may not fully fund the implementation of MMJ – Bad for patients because it may limit their access to MMJ if effective oversight cannot be paid for – This would conflict with HB1369 which would better fund the implementation of MMJ
  • Update: As of Feb. 19th, Passed the Senate Committee on Education, now on to a full Senate vote

SB254

  • Brief: Would allow the medical marijuana commission (MMC) to prohibit dispensaries from having the option to grow their own marijuana.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Greg Standridge, Russellville
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry because it hurts the financial prospects of dispensaries – Bad for patients because of decreased competition and lower variety of medicinal marijuana strains and products
  • Update: As of March 27th, passed the Senate and rushed to the House

SB333

  • Brief: Edible ban. Prohibits the sale of medical marijuana incorporated into food or drink.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Gary Stubblefield, Branch
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry and patients because it limits forms of MMJ ingestion. Especially a negative impact on elderly patients.
  • Update: As of March 8th, failed in a full Senate vote. The vote was expunged, so it may be voted on again.

SB357

  • Brief: Smoking ban. Would prohibit Arkansas MMJ patients from smoking medicinal marijuana.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Jason Rapert, Conway
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry and patients because it prohibits the most common form of MMJ ingestion. Smoking is the quickest way for MMJ to enter the bloodstream and offer relief. It’s also the most common form of ingestion. When Arkansans voted on Issue 6, they did so with smoking in mind.
  • Update: As of March 19th, Failed in a full Senate vote twice – the last time the vote was not expunged, considered dead

SB424

  • Brief: Directs all tax revenue collected from the sale of medical marijuana to a special fund to implement and oversee medical marijuana.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Jane English, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because it funds the oversight of the industry and its implementation without being a burden on the general fund.
  • Update: As of Feb. 28th, Still in the Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation

SB674

  • Brief: Shell bill – no meaningful content.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Missy Irvin, Mountain View
  • ACIA Interpretation:    No content yet to judge
  • Update: As of March 19th, Sitting in the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor

SB690

  • Brief: Shell bill – no meaningful content.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Alan Clark, Lonsdale
  • ACIA Interpretation:    No content yet to judge
  • Update: As of March 19th, Sitting in the Senate Committee on Education

SB696

  • Brief: Shell bill – no meaningful content.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Bart Hester, Cave Springs
  • ACIA Interpretation:    No content yet to judge
  • Update: As of March 19th, Sitting in the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor

SB769

  • Brief: Creates a database of MMJ patients and dispensing data.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Senator Bart Hester, Cave Springs
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Neutral
  • Update: As of March 20th, Sitting in the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor

Bills that passed, now law:

HB1026

  • Brief: Delays the medical marijuana rule making time period and delays the application start date from June 1st, 2017 to July 1st, 2017
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    No negative impact on the industry – Reasonable delay for patients

HB1049

  • Brief: Clarifies the definition of ‘excluded felony offense’ as defined in the amendment. Expands the definition to most felonies instead of just violent ones.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because it sets a slightly higher standard for operators of cultivation facilities and dispensaries – No impact on patients

HB1051

  • Brief: Creates medical marijuana entity definitions for transporters, distributors, and processors – up to this point, the only entities in the amendment were cultivation facilities and dispensaries. This makes it a more similar industry to Colorado in that cultivation facilities would have had to do all of their own processing, which is a very different activity (and skill set) than growing medicinal marijuana. Allows dispensaries and cultivation facilities to contract with transporters, distributors, and processors.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because it creates more entities to serve the industry – The headache of processing and transporting can be removed from growers

HB1057

  • Brief: Clarifies the background check process for cultivation facility and dispensary license applicants. Would require designated caregivers to go through an extensive background check. Still doesn’t require a qualifying patient to go through a background check, which is good.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because it clarifies the background check process – No impact on patients

HB1058

  • Brief: Previously, a physician would have to certify that medical marijuana’s benefits would outweigh the harm to a particular patient. This bill changes the requirement so that  the physician would merely certify that a patient has one of the conditions that qualify for use of the drug under the amendment. Also, a patient’s application for a medical marijuana card is now considered confidential and not privy to Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because there will be more cardholders – Good for patients because of easier access and better privacy

HB1369

  • Brief: Instead of sales tax from the sale of medical marijuana going to a myriad of funds, creates an Arkansas Medical marijuana Implementation and Operations Fund to collect the sales tax and pay for the implementation of this program. Ultimately, this helps make sure that the state agencies implementing medical marijuana (MMJ) in Arkansas can pay for this increased administrative burden.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because it properly funds the administration of the MMJ amendment – No impact on patients

HB1370

  • Brief: Calls for the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission (AMMC) and the ABC to create rules and regulations for record keeping, security, personnel, license terminations, and others for cultivation facilities and dispensaries. Clarifies that marketing and products cannot be directed or even appealing to children.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Helpful to the industry in that it will clarify rules and regulation, potentially harmful in the ambiguous use of the phrase ‘appealing to children’ which could limit marketing and products for adults – Probably little impact on patients

HB1400

  • Brief: Bans the smoking of medical marijuana in places where cigarette smoking is prohibited.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Robin Lundstrum, Elm Springs
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Bad for the industry because it limits the most popular form of medical marijuana ingestion – Bad for patients because it limits their options and they will have to consume MMJ in a more potent form – When Arkansans voted to legalize MMJ, they did it with smoking in mind

HB1402

  • Brief: Says that Arkansas will consider making medical marijuana a recognized prescription medication if the United States government elects to do so.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Justin Boyd, Fort Smith
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because it allows patients easier access to their medication – Good for patients because it makes getting their medication easier (in the event the federal government becomes more lenient)

HB1436

  • Brief: Standardizes the renewal dates for dispensary and cultivation facility licenses and for ID cards for MMJ workers.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Neutral – Little impact on the industry – No impact on patients

HB1451

  • Brief: Prevents members of the United States military or Arkansas National Guard from being able to partake of medical marijuana.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Trevor Drown, Dover
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Neutral – Little impact on the industry – No impact on patients unless you happen to be in the military

HB1460

  • Brief: Makes is easier for Arkansas physicians to provide patients with ‘written certifications’ for medical marijuana cards, because it clarifies that the physician is only certifying that a patient has a medical condition as opposed to writing a ‘prescription’ for medical marijuana. Also, clarifies the employee/employer relationship for an employee who is a qualifying patient. Allows for termination if an employee is under the influence of MMJ or is consuming MMJ while at work.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Carlton Wing, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because doctors will be less hesitant to provide ‘written certifications’ to patients – Good for patients in that MMJ cards will be easier to obtain

HB1507

  • Brief: Allows the Alcohol Control Board, Medical Marijuana Commission, and the Department of Health to collect fines for violation of rules.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Neutral – Fine for the industry and patients as long as the fines are reasonable

HB1519

  • Brief: Clarifies that the Medical Marijuana Commission will reside within the Department of Finance and Administration.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry and patients because it helps with the rollout of MMJ rules and regulations

HB1556

  • Brief: Prohibits a physician for issuing a MMJ certification to a patient with a remote consultation, i.e. telemedicine.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Deborah Ferguson, West Memphis
  • ACIA Interpretation:     Bad for the industry and patients because it makes obtaining an MMJ card more difficult. Telemedicine is the future of patient access and convenience to medical treatment. This bill sticks Arkansas in the past.

HB1580

  • Brief: Creates an additional 4% sales tax on medical marijuana.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:     Bad for the industry and patients because it makes medicine more expensive.

HB1584

  • Brief: Allows for the replacement of named cultivation facility or dispensary license holders for employment changes. For example, if the manager of a dispensary was terminated, this bill allows for a temporary license until a new name can be chosen to go on the license.
  • Lead Sponsor:    Representative Douglas House, North Little Rock
  • ACIA Interpretation:    Good for the industry because it allows for management changes without losing a license