The people of Arkansas have spoken and chosen to usher in a new era of medicine to patients in need.
Yesterday, Marijuana.com interviewed David Couch, the primary individual responsible for getting Issue 6 on the November ballot. Couch predicted that medical marijuana would win by a margin of 51 – 54%; the final tally was 53% in favor and 46% opposed.
So now that The Natural State has access to the most naturally effective medicine on Earth, how will patients access it?
“I tried to set it up as a really competitive model,” Couch said when describing what the system would look like in Arkansas. “We have 20 – 40 dispensaries, which is about the right number we’ll need for our patient pool, and then we have 4 – 8 cultivation facilities.”
Further to the distribution method, the model will charge state and local taxes on sales to cover administrative costs. The remaining balance will go to various funds related to the betterment of Arkansas. Those coffers include the Vocational and Technical Training Special Revenue Fund (50%), the General Fund (30%), Workforce Training programs (10%), the Department of Health (5%), the Alcohol Beverage Control divisions (4%), and the Medical Marijuana Commission (1%).
One of those institutions, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division will establish rules related to the operation of dispensaries and cultivation facilities.
The measure will grant voters the option to ban marijuana dispensaries or cultivation facilities in their municipalities.
Arkansan law states that ballot measures take effect on the 30th day after the election. Once that time period is complete, the Arkansas Department of Health has 120 days to adopt the initiative — implementation may come as early as April 2017.
Once everything is in place, qualifying patients who wish to get a medical marijuana recommendation need to see a licensed doctor within the state.
As marijuana reform sweeps across the United States, Arkansas will be part of the journey that helps millions of Americans cope with diseases in ways they never thought possible. Congratulations are necessary to the citizens that voted in this bright future.