RECAP OF WEEK 3/20

It has been an incredible week at the State Capitol this week.  As the session gets close to the end, it gets a little crazy, but we have accomplished much. I want to thank Representative Doug House for tirelessly working to protect this law and to make it better for patients.

Your phone calls, our testifying in committees, Representative House’s diligent work have made all the difference. So far, we have only lost 3 bills through this entire session that we wanted killed.  We have either won all the others or compromised to where it was a better bill for patients.

Hosting Meet & Greets for legislators, organizing functions to bring awareness for medical marijuana, as well as the hemp bill and our future work to move towards drug reform all takes money.  DPEG is a non-profit group who’s function is to educate Arkansans on drug reform.  We NEED your help.  Please join DPEG or give a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation.

Here is a recap of what happened on Capitol Hill this week:

Monday

  • HB1392– FAILED on the house floor!!! – bill is now dead-BAN USE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN FOOD AND DRINK UNLESS IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.
  • SB254-FAILED for the second time on the senate floor.  Sadly, He will get one more chance, so keep calling you Senators against it.- AMEND THE PROVISIONS CONCERNING THE ABILITY OF A DISPENSARY TO GROW MARIJUANA. (prevents dispensaries from growing)
  • HB1051–  PASSED- sent to governor to sign.-TO ADD A LICENSURE PROCEDURE FOR TRANSPORTERS, DISTRIBUTERS, AND PROCESSERS
  • HB1370-PASSED – sent to governor to sign-AUTHORIZE REGULATION OF ADVERTISING, MARKETING, PACKAGING, AND PROMOTION OF DISPENSARIES AND CULTIVATION FACILITIES.-

Tuesday

Great turnout for Patient Day at the Capitol!  We were missing about 5-6 from the pic.  We got to speak briefly to many Representatives and a group of patients cornered Sen. Rapert and forced him to speak with them.  We all went to the gallery to watch the house vote.

  • HB1778-CREATE THE ARKANSAS INDUSTRIAL HEMP ACT. PASSED!!!!! house floor passed with flying colors, 79-1.  The only nay vote was from Rep. Andy Mayberry.  I ask him later how he could possibly have opposed a bill that could bring so much to our state and he had no answer for me. It will be heard in Senate committee Thursday morning.
  • HB1369-PASSED- sent to governor to sign-REGARDING THE TAXATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF PROCEEDS; AND TO CREATE VARIOUS FUNDS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION- Any remaining sales tax will be distributed from the general fund
  • HB1816-FAILED- REQUIRE DIVERSITY WHEN ISSUING LICENSES FOR DISPENSARIES AND CULTIVATION FACILITIES AND WHEN APPOINTING INDIVIDUALS TO THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION.
  • HB2094-PASSED! House floor-sent to Senate committee- AUTHORIZE ACQUISITION OF SEEDS, CUTTINGS, CLONES, AND PLANTS BY A CULTIVATION FACILITY.
  • HB2011-PASSED-sent to senate committee- ESTABLISH CERTAIN SECURITY AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR CULTIVATION FACILITIES LICENSED IN THIS STATE.

Wednesday

  • SB721-PASSED after 2 amendments-sent to senate floor- REQUIRE A DISPENSARY TO MAKE VAPORIZERS AVAILABLE FOR SALE TO QUALIFYING PATIENTS AND TO APPOINT A PHARMACIST DIRECTOR-nearly everything was amended after working with us on changes.
  • HB1400-PASSED-after 2 amendments- sent to senate floor-Amended per our agreement to reflect the Arkansas clean air act.
  • HB1391-WITHDRAWN BY AUTHOR!!- REGARDING LOCAL REGULATIONS
  • HB2190-PASSED-amended after working with us on needed changes-sent to house floor- REQUIRE A DISPENSARY TO MAKE VAPORIZERS AVAILABLE FOR SALE TO QUALIFYING PATIENTS AND TO APPOINT A PHARMACIST DIRECTOR
  • HB2222-WITHDRAWN BY AUTHOR!!!!!!- ESTABLISH CERTAIN SECURITY AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR CULTIVATION FACILITIES.
  • HB2239-WITHDRAWN BY AUTHOR- TAXATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF PROCEEDS; AND TO CREATE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY PROMISE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.
  • HB1935-PASSED-sent to house floor- CLARIFY THE EFFECT ON ARKANSAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • HB1989-WITHDRAWN BY AUTHOR!!!!!- PROHIBIT THE SMOKING OF MARIJUANA IN ANY LOCATION IN ARKANSAS.
  • HB1990-WITHDRAWN BY AUTHOR!!!!!- “DESIGNATED CAREGIVER” AND “QUALIFYING CONDITION”; AND TO BAN CULTIVATION OR GROWING OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA AT A DISPENSARY. This was by far one of the worst bills yet!
  • HB1991-PASSED-heavily amended per our request-sent to house floor- ENACT CERTAIN PROHIBITIONS