Those who wish to grow and distribute cannabis showed up in droves on Monday, handing in thousands upon thousands of pages of paperwork and money, money, money. There was a three hour wait on line against Monday’s deadline, as there were far more applicants than there were clerks. Clerks had to go over all paperwork for completeness.
The potential growers had to fork over $15,000 and the distributors $7,500. If the application is denied? Half of the money will be refunded. Around three hundred applications were submitted by end of day, with about a third of them for would be growers.
The Medical Marijuana Commission reviews the applications with names redacted for the sake of privacy. They will only choose five growers and up to 32 distributors. This likely means the 1,000 page applications must be perfect, with all i’s dotted and t’s crossed. Twelve-hundred patients have been approved for medical cannabis.
Medicinal marijuana was voted in by the people of Arkansas last year. Approval was at 53%. That means that it also lost in almost half of Arkansas’ 75 counties.
The president of Arkansas Family Council, Jerry Cox, who opposed the measure, says that his group will be helping with paperwork in counties and towns that don’t want the herb literally in their backyards. He’s busy mocking up language for local petitions. The medical marijuana law does have provisions for this, similar to their alcohol policies with wet (liquor) and dry (sober) areas.
Cox stated, “There have been some communities that have expressed angst about there being a marijuana facility in their community. It’s only fair to give them a chance to opt out. We have wet and dry counties,” he said, then went on to ask, “Why shouldn’t it be the same for marijuana?”
While this reporter could give him more than a few reasons, at least the law was voted in and many, many people who are currently suffering in Arkansas will have relief in the form of medical cannabis sometime soon. Though there is no timeline in place for applications to be approved or for cannabis to begin being distributed.