Jim Bowen

Top lawmakers in Arkansas have appointed the five-member Medical Marijuana Commission ahead of their first meeting today, NPR station KUAR reports. The commission will facilitate the licensing and regulation of cultivation sites and dispensaries under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment.

Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, a University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Department of Surgery professor and co-director of Cancer Control and Population Sciences for the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, was appointed to the commission by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Republican House Speaker Jeremy Gillam tabbed Dr. Stephen J. Carroll and attorney Travis Story. Republican Senate President Jonathan Dismag appointed Dr. J Carlos Roman and James Miller, a former Senate chief of staff who currently serves as a lobbyist for the Arkansas Railroad Association.

According to the report, North Little Rock Republican Doug House has suggested paying each commissioner a salary of $30,000 per year, however at present, commissioners are set to be paid $85 per meeting of the board.

Members from the state Department of Health, the Department of Finance and Administration, and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division will also have a role in developing the program details.

Under the law passed by voters during November’s general election, the state will license between four and eight cultivators and between 20 and 40 dispensaries. The law also provides a June deadline to meet the licensing requirements but lawmakers are already suggesting that target could be pushed to July.

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