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Oklahoma Offers Qualified Arkansans Medical Marijuana

Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

OKLAHOMA  INVITES ARKANSAS PATIENTS -  Arkansas voters approved a state medical marijuana program in November 2016 but it has yet to dispense medical marijuana to the more than 7,000 patients approved to receive the drug.  However, neighboring state Oklahoma had its medical marijuana approved by voters last June and has opened dispensaries New Year’s Day  AND is offering to let qualified people apply for  temporary licenses to receive the drug there.  But  Arkansans  approved  to receive  medical cannabis  would  first  need  a user ID card from the  Arkansas Department of Health, and so far those haven’t been provided. Connie Melton,  department  branch chief for Arkansas health systems, licensing and certification told Arkansas Public Radio KUAR- the Oklahoma program may prompt Arkansas to issue the cards soon.


"Approved patients have called and requested that their card be made available so that they can take advantage of the Oklahoma visiting patient opportunity," explained Melton."And so pending the outcome of the Marijuana Commission meeting next week and the scoring of the dispensaries, the agency anticipates issuing Arkansas Medical Marijuana Registry ID cards within the next 30 days."             

One  hitch  is  that  language in the Arkansas  constitutional  amendment  requires patients to buy the drug in the state. A temporary license from Oklahoma would be good for 30 days and the applicant would have to pay a $100 fee. 

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.