The Supreme Court of Arkansas ruled last Thursday that the lower court, which had been holding up the licensing process for medical cannabis, did not have the authority to do so. This brings Arkansas that much closer to fully realized medical marijuana for certain conditions.
Back in February, the Medical Marijuana Commission voted that five licenses be granted out of the more than 80 applicants to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes in Arkansas. When one of the companies that did not get licensed sued because of accused unfair means of choosing the awardees, the issue became tied up in court and the entire process was put to a stop.
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It was in 2016 that Arkansas voters amended the constitution for quite a cache of ailments that can be eased or treated by medical marijuana, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, severe nausea and several others. The Medical Marijuana Commission was formed and residents got their medical marijuana cards in order.
The hold up in production has meant that those cardholders have yet to be able to obtain their medicine legally. Now, with the Supreme Court of Arkansas ruling, patients should be able to get their hands on medical cannabis by the end of the year.
The Quinnipiac Poll shows that the nation as a whole supports medical cannabis by an astounding 94 percent, with the Republican opinion at a solid 90 percent in favor. Despite these numbers, cannabis is still considered a Schedule I drug at the federal level, meaning that it has no known medicinal usages.
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With the latest news about Epidiolex, the first FDA approved drug using the cannabinoid CBD, it is considered by the cannabis community to be criminal that marijuana remains in the same category as heroin, with a rap of having a high potential of abuse.
The tides of the nation have certainly turned, however, and Arkansas is the latest state to make that glaringly clear. Another conservative state, Oklahoma, votes on a medical marijuana measure today.
As of now, Arkansas is finally cleared to launch their long awaited medical cannabis program and the violation against the voted in act is put to rest. It’s another victory in a quickly unraveling string of progress for the cannabis community.