Take action now against SB440 and SB441.
SB440 would BAN cannabis infused EDIBLES and beverages, except when administered in a hospital. Infused products are a crucial consumption method for medical cannabis patients. Call the committee members below and voice your opposition NOW.
SB441 would ban advertising, publicizing, promoting or marketing through broadcasting, online services, print services or billboards medical marijuana, the use of medical marijuana, or services associated with medical marijuana, including without limitation. This bill limits free speech, the will of the people, and patients access to information.
These bills are scheduled to be heard on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28 at 10:00AM in front of Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development in Room 309 at the State Capitol. Please contact members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development and tell them why we oppose SB441. Links to members’ profiles below. Calls are the best method.
|Senator John Cooper
|Senator Ricky Hill
|Senator Eddie Cheatham
|Senator Blake Johnson
|Senator Bruce Maloch
|Senator Matthew Pitsch
|Senator James Sturch
|Senator David Wallace
WHAT SB440 DOES:
This bill would ban cannabis food and drink, aka “edibles”.
WHY WE OPPOSE:
- Arkansas’s Medical Marijuana Commission underwent thoughtful review to promulgate rules addressing the consumption of medical cannabis. During the promulgation period, rules were open to public comment and legislative review. This bill would undermine the rules established by the Medical Marijuana Commission and runs contrary to the law’s intent.
- SB440 restricts the market’s ability to differentiate in product leaving consumers with fewer choices. This bill restricts food and drink, leaving smoking or vaping the primary method of administering the medicine, with an oral pill as one of the main and only forms of orally consuming cannabis. For many patients, edible consumption is the safer way to take their medicine over smoking or vaping.
- A survey of 300 Arkansas cannabis patients revealed that edibles are the second preferred choice of administering their medicine, behind smokable flower and ahead of vaping.
- Limiting the market to only a few products is bad for patients and stifles the market and variety of products available.
WHAT SB441 DOES:
SB441 limits businesses’ ability to “advertise, publicize, promote, or market through broadcasting, online services, print services, or billboards medical marijuana, the use of medical marijuana, or services associated with medical marijuana.” It also prohibits the use of any symbol commonly associated with the practice of medicine or the practice of pharmacy, specifically including crosses of any color and caduceus.
WHAT WE SUPPORT:
- No free samples of marijuana or marijuana-related products
- No coupons or promotional flyers
- A dispensary or cultivation facility shall not use any symbol commonly associated with the practice of medicine or the practice of pharmacy
WHAT WE OPPOSE AND WHY:
We oppose restricting the industry as a whole to advertising, publicizing, promoting or marketing medical marijuana or ancillary businesses.
- Will Restrict Patient Access. There are 7,437 legal registered medical cannabis patients in Arkansas and the number grows each day. Patients should be able to readily access the information they need to make informed decisions about their medical care, including information about medical cannabis dispensaries. Limiting the ability of medical cannabis businesses to advertise to patients is a barrier to making informed healthcare decisions.
- Freedom of Speech. The rules would effectively be banning most available options for cannabis businesses to advertise to local consumers. Such a ban is a violation of cannabis businesses’ right to free public speech.
- Supporting the Stigma. The proposed regulations delegitimize medical cannabis’ use as a legal medicine and encourage stigmatization. It further encourages the treatment of cannabis businesses as taboo, even though states continue to pass legislation that acknowledge the benefits of cannabis and legalize its medical use.