1-(844)-420-ACIA (2242) Mon-Fri : 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
1-(844)-420-ACIA (2242) Mon-Fri : 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Updates from the April 10 Meeting of the ABC Regarding MMJ Rules and Regulations

Thanks to Robert deBin for attending the meeting and providing these notes.

This meeting was important because it was the first meeting of the Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) Board of Directors following the public comment period. A little background; the ABC rules and regulations govern the operations of dispensaries and cultivation facilities in Arkansas.

Key Take Aways

  1. Mature plant definition changed to a plant that is in flowering
  2. Immature plants limited to maximum of 150 for a total allowed number of 200 plants
  3. Contractor visiting hours removed
  4. Sliding table provision: each production area shall be maintained for adequate observation and inventory
  5. Biometric locks only required on external doors
  6. Tags required if plant larger than 8″ wide or tall


ABC board members in attendance:

  • Jamie Anderson
  • Jean Hervey
  • Daniel Greenberg
  • Steven Smith
  • Mickey Powell

Mary Robin Casteel’s (ABC attorney) rundown of changes

Legislative Changes

ACT 594 – expiration dates and renewals

HB 1049 – ACT 544 – Exc felony offense (p.3) – removed violence and makes any felony excluded

HB1370 – Act 640 – legislation that mirrored packaging, advertising requriemtns

HB1991 – not signed – created several new requirements:

  • no vending machines
  • limited access to dispensaries (p.21 and p.22) to qualified patients and designated caregivers
  • section 9.4 and 9.5 rewritten to allow for contractors *
  • amount of THC in edibles (p.30) 10mg per portion and portions physically marked

Question about delivery – Mickey Powell

  1. why is delivery cutoff before closing time – Mickey Powell
  2. Mary Robin – because deliveries have to be same day to allow for time

HB 2011 – Signed into law- security requirements

  • many already in rules
  • changes reflected on p.10-12
    • construction of premies – expanded on existing security, just structured to mirror bill exactly
    • storage areas: requires cultivation facilities to have the same types of storage that prescription drug manufacturers use. requires security level of schedule 1 drug
    • small amount stored in cabinet
    • large amounts have to go in a vault
    • only for marijuana that has been harvested and is waiting processing or is processed and yet to be sold
    • mirrored for dispensaries (7.3)

HB2190 – Pharmacist Consultant- (p.45 & 47 &48)

  • educational materials and plans for dispensary
  • pharmacist have to be registered dispensary agents (p.48)
  • limitations on paraphernalia (p.35 & 36)
    • requires dispensaries have vaporizers available
    • prohibits certain types of pipes

Public Comment Changes

  • Definition of mature plant (p.4-5)
    • mature: changed to a plant that is in the flowering cycle
    • immature: seedling or non-flowering marijuana plant
    • (P.26)
      • 50 mature
      • 150 immature
    • no more than 50 mature marijuana plants may be harvested per month
    • Mickey Powell : concerned that 200 plants is too many for a dispensary
  • Compassionate Care
    • Dispensary or cultivation facility allowed to discount for compassionate care plan presented to commission
  • Visitation hours for cultivation facilities (p.19)
    • HB 2011
    • restriction removed!
  • Sliding Table
    • each production area shall be maintained for adequate observation and inventory
  • Edibles (p.28)
    • theme: cannot produce marijuana that by shape or design can not appear to minors
    • changed to: closely resemble popular food drink items (candy, cookies, brownies)
  • Locks (p.10)
    • External locks biometric
    • other locks have to be commercial grade but not necessarily biometric
  • plant size tag requirements 18 inches (P.24)
    • “A lot of these measurements are based upon the tracking system that is used. We don’t have this system yet. they recommend tagging them at certain heights based upon the tracking system that you are using.”
    • Colorado 8” tall, 8” wide, or flowering, whichever is earlier must be tagged
    • 10.4: A plant shall be assigned tag with unique id number req electronically when plant reaches 8” in height or width, or is considered a mature plant, whichever happens first.

Locations which you can and cannot deliver to (Mickey Powell)

-Steven Smith: many sick people set up temporary residence next to a hospital where they are receiving treatment. As it stands we cannot deliver to a temporary residence and these are the people who need it most.

-Mickey Powell: extended stay hotels

-Greenberg: suggest adding language to allow for delivery to hotels within certain range of hospital or treatment center

-Mary Robin: the amendment does allow for a designated caregiver

-Powell : if it proves to be an issue we can address it in the future

-Anderson: caregiver may not always to be with them to deliver

-Powell: what about someone in a condo – yes that qualifies

-Unanimous agrees that we will see how it goes and re-evaluate

Public Comment

Chris Gibson
  • cultivated and dispenses cannabis in colorado for years
  • a little more research should go into
  • remove regulation and let market determine demand
Justice Brooks
  • Attorney Quadlebaum
  • “You don’t want dispensaries to turn into cultivation facilities” This needs to be taken into consideration
Cole Williams
  • Will cash be addressed
  • existing liquor stores, can they add a dispensary next door
  • Greenberg: outside the scope of this meeting
Laurette Leaver
  • in agreement with Chris
  • some dispensaries won’t have quick access to cultivation due to distance
  • my non spoken response: patients won’t be punished if you schedule deliveries

Greenberg moves to accept all changes Mrs. Casteel made: 5-0 vote

What’s Next?

Joel DiPippa:

  • final tweeks on these rules to be made with MMC as well
  • submit to General Assembly
  • submitted as both regular and emergency rules
  • attempting to submit by Friday but may be as late as Monday
  • goes to subcommittee of ALC
  • regular rules go to legislative council rules and regulation sub committee