Nick McPhee

Arkansas’ five-member Medical Marijuana Commission has held its first meeting, now it has 120 days to create the rules that will govern the currently non-existent medical cannabis program, according to a report from KHTV. Commissioners expect the Health Department to start registering patients as soon as March.

Under the law, passed by voters during the General Election, the commission must begin accepting licenses for the four to eight cultivation sites, and between 20 and 40 dispensaries no later than June 1. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Division will also play a role in developing the program details.

Commissioner Travis Story said that the commission will look toward other states in an effort to help them develop the program rules quickly in order to determine what worked and what didn’t work.

“We have to be serious and get going because otherwise there’s not enough time to do a lot of different things and that’s our biggest challenge,” Story said in the report.

Commission Chairwoman Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman said the commission, which was appointed by legislative leaders, was “prepared” for the daunting task at hand.

“Making a difference in patients’ lives and ensuring survival, not only survival but quality of life is very important,” she said.

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