Arkansas Plant Board Adopts Industrial Hemp Regulations

ARKANSAS: The Arkansas Plant Board approved regulations for the state’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program today at their quarterly meeting. The approval came after Mary Smith, author of the regulations and ASPB Seed Division Director, presented several public comments collected during a thirty-day public comment period that concluded June 15th.

TreeOfLifeSeeds_ArkansasPlantBoard_Pic2 (1)Many of the comments were inconsequential and did not result in recommended changes to the current draft of regulations. One comment however resulted in a change, where licenses will be suspended instead of revoked as a result of violations, pending a hearing. The regulations that were approved by Governor Asa Hutchinson in May are now headed to the Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC) for approval. The ALC’s next meeting is scheduled for August 17, 2018 at 9am. Once approved by the ALC, the adopted rules and regulations will be filed with the Secretary of State’s office and will become effective ten days after filing.

When the hemp regulations become effective, the ASPB will establish the protocol to grant licenses to Arkansas farmers and processors. Although it’s likely that licenses will not be granted in time for the 2018 growing season, local farmers and companies welcome the opportunity for next planting season. Industrial Hemp is a versatile crop that can be used to produce a variety of products such as CBD extracts, paper, building materials, food products, and biofuel.

According to local Hemp Genetics and CBD company, Tree of Life Seeds’ CEO, Jason Martin, “the ability to grow and process industrial hemp in the natural state is a game changer for Arkansas farmers who will now have a viable alternative crop that can provide increased profits at a time when farming profits are low.”

Arkansas Plant Board Holds Historic First Hemp Meeting

ARKANSAS: The Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) embarked upon two historic firsts for the state on Tuesday. After eighty years of prohibition, the ASPB held the first meeting of the Industrial Hemp Committee where the committee voted on and passed a draft of proposed regulations. These historic firsts mark the beginning of the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program that will bring production, development and commercialization of Industrial Hemp to the Natural State.

Approximately 40 farmers, breeders and ancillary business representatives filled the audience as Mary Smith, author of the regulations and ASPB Seed Division Director, read through the proposed regulations. Appointed members of the Industrial Hemp Committee reviewed and approved a few motions to change small details in the regulations before voting to approve the draft. The Committee members are Chairman Jerry Hyde, Bruce Alford, Russell Bragg, Robert Campbell, Matthew Marsh, and Barry Walls.

The ASPB and Mary Smith were praised for their exemplary efforts in developing the historic regulations. During the process of drafting, the ASPB looked to other states’ programs for best practices, met with local businesses and took public comments. Tree of Life Seeds CEO and Director of Hemp Advancement at the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association, Jason Martin, commended the board’s efforts stating, “The Arkansas State Plant Board and the Industrial Hemp Committee have been a pleasure to work with. Their comprehensive work and due diligence are building a Hemp program that will serve as a model for other states that will soon implement similar programs.”

 

 

 

 

 

Gov. Hutchinson Announces New Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission

ARKANSAS:  Governor Asa Hutchinson today, joined with Senator Jonathan Dismang, President Pro Tempore, and Representative Jeremy Gillam, Speaker of the House, announced five appointments to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission. They are as follows:

Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, M.D., Little Rock, to the Medical Marijuana Commission. (Hutchinson Appointment)

Dr. Stephen J. Carroll, PharmD, Benton, to the Medical Marijuana Commission. (Gillam Appointment)

Travis W. Story, Esq., Fayetteville, to the Medical Marijuana Commission. (Gillam Appointment)

James Miller, Bryant, to the Medical Marijuana Commission. (Dismang Appointment)

Dr. J. Carlos Roman M.D., Little Rock, to the Medical Marijuana Commission. (Dismang Appointment)

The commission’s creation follows the passage of the Medical Marijuana Amendment in the 2016 General Election. The purpose of the Medical Marijuana Commission is to control the regulation of medical marijuana cultivation and distribution to qualifying patients in the State of Arkansas. The commission will also work to establish a system of administering and regulating the licensing of dispensaries, along with setting conditions and requirements for physicians, dispensaries and patients.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“Following the decision of Arkansas voters to legalize medical marijuana, I have worked with Pro Tempore Dismang and Speaker Gillam to appoint the members of the Medical Marijuana Commission within the 30-day period. I look forward to seeing this commission develop a responsible implementation plan that meets the needs of patients while protecting the public and assuring public safety.

“I have no doubt Dr. Tillman, with her knowledge and breadth of experience in the field of medicine, will do an excellent job in her new role on this commission.” 

Senate President Dismang issued the following statement: 

“James is uniquely qualified to tackle the issues that will come before the Medical Marijuana Commission. During his tenure with state government, he worked closely with regulatory agencies for both tobacco and alcohol. That experience will help him navigate the safety and rule-making obligations the Commission is tasked with by this new amendment.”

“Dr. Roman’s statewide leadership in pain management will be a valuable contribution to this Commission. He has worked to protect both doctors and patients while encouraging crackdowns on so-called ‘pill mills,’ where some doctors will unethically and illegally enable prescription drug abuse and opiate dependency. Other states with medical marijuana have seen similar problems with prescriptions, and Dr. Roman’s decades of work will be a great resource as we look to mitigate that possibility, along with addressing a myriad of other medical issues.”

Speaker Gillam issued the following statement: 

“Both Dr. Carroll and Mr. Story share my desire for the commission to honor the will of the voters and find a responsible path forward. Both have distinguished careers in their profession and will serve Arkansas well.”

 

Hemp Crops Coming To New York As Early As Spring?

NEW YORK: The state Department of Agriculture and Markets has developed proposed regulations to govern experimental growing of a cultivar of cannabis, the plant most known today as the source of marijuana. Industrial hemp, as it’s sometimes known, has too little of the active ingredient  tetrahydrocannabinol, often referred to as THC, to produce a recreational high yet is seen as having enormous potential.

Hemp has edible and oil-producing seeds, and its fibrous bark and internal core can be used as a building material. Parts of the plant are used in making plastics, paper, insulation, animal bedding and cosmetics, eaten and burned as biomass fuel. It also provides a chemical seen as having medical potential.

Two state lawmakers from the Southern Tier sponsored bills to get trial plantings started: Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, and Sen. Tom O’Mara, R-Elmira.

“We are on the frontier of a major new industrial crop, and that’s why I’ve been pushing New York to get out in front of it,” Lupardo said.

Federal law was changed in the 2014 national farm-policy bill to allow states to permit hemp research. Lupardo and O’Mara sponsored bills in New York to do just that. The measure was adopted with near-unanimous support, but rules governing the experiments were not adopted in time for the 2015 growing season.

 

Trees And Marijuana Lead Salem City Council Agenda

OREGON: Trees and commercial marijuana production top the agenda for the Monday, Sept. 28, Salem City Council meeting.

There will be a first reading of Ordinance Bill 22-15, which would amend city code to restrict the commercial production of recreational marijuana to indoor production sites, or outdoor sites within exclusive farm use zone.  The council decide whether to refer the ordinance to the planning commission for a hearing and recommendation.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will be issuing licenses for commercial producers of recreational marijuana in 2016. The proposed amendment would not affect medical marijuana grow sites, or restrict state law allowing individuals to grow up to four marijuana plants on their property for recreational purposes.

Washington Marijuana Compliance Checks: 4 Of 22 Recreational Marijuana Stores Sell To Minors

WASHINGTON: Four Western Washington recreational retail marijuana businesses recently failed compliance checks conducted by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB). Officers, working with underage investigative aides, checked 22 businesses for sales of marijuana to minors. The first checks represent an 82 percent no-sales-to-minors compliance rate.

The four businesses will be cited for selling marijuana to minors. The individuals who sold the marijuana will be referred to their respective prosecuting attorney’s office for potential criminal prosecution.

First Marijuana Compliance Checks

The WSLCB and local authorities regularly conduct compliance checks of area businesses licensed to sell alcohol. The checks, conducted May 15-18 in Skagit, Snohomish, Kitsap, Pierce and Cowlitz Counties, were the first marijuana compliance checks. The checks followed a recent communication to all licensees that enforcement officers were beginning compliance checks and recommended best practices for avoiding an illegal sale.

Compliance checks are proven tools to reduce the sale of age-restricted products to minors. Investigative aides assist officers with compliance checks. These individuals are from 18 to 20 years old. They must either present their true identification or none at all if asked by a clerk.

Administrative Penalties

Liquor enforcement officers are empowered to issue Administrative Violation Notices to businesses that fail compliance checks. Fines or temporary license suspensions can be issued depending on the severity of the infraction or the frequency with which a business has been cited. Sales to minors are considered the most serious violations because they present a threat to public safety. Businesses cited for Sale to a Minor face a 10-day suspension or $2,500 fine. Businesses who receive three public safety violations within three years face license cancellation.

Businesses that sold marijuana to a minor

Mary Mart

3005 6th Avenue Ste. B (Tacoma)

Emerald Leaves

2702 6th Avenue (Tacoma)

Green City Collective

13601 Highway 99 Suite B (Everett)

Purple Haze

4218 Rucker Ave. (Everett)

Businesses that did not sell marijuana to a minor

Westside 420 Recreational

4503 Ocean Beach Highway (Longview)

Freedom Market

820A Westside Highway (Kelso)

Localamster

1006 California Way (Longview)

Longview Freedom Market

971 14th Avenue Suite 110 (Longview)

420 Holiday

2028 10th Avenue (Longview)

Diamond Green

4002 South 12th Street (Tacoma)

Rainier Downtown

112 South 24th Street (Tacoma)

Crockpot

1703 SE Sedgwick Road Suite 113 (Port Orchard)

Greenway Marijuana

4851 Geiger Road SE (Port Orchard)

420 Pot Shop

1374 SE Lund Avenue (Port Orchard)

HWY 420

1110 Charleston Beach Road West (Bremerton)

Kushmart

6309 Evergreen Way (Everett)

Bud Hut

11603 Highway 99 (Everett)

Herbal Nation

19302 Bothell Everett Highway (Bothell)

High Times

1519 Highway 99 (Lynnwood)

Euphorium Lynnwood

20925 Cypress Way Suite 104 (Lynnwood)

Local Roots Marijuana

212 West Winesap Road Suite 101 (Bothell)

High Society

8630 South March Point Road (Anacortes)

The WSLCB mission is to promote public safety and trust through fair administration and enforcement of liquor, tobacco and marijuana laws. Per 2015 legislation, on July 24, 2015, the agency will change its name to the Liquor and Cannabis Board. It will retain the WSLCB acronym.

Arkansas Governor Plans To Pardon Son For 2003 Marijuana Conviction

ARKANSAS:  Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe plans to pardon his own son for a 2003 felony conviction for marijuana possession.

Matt DeCample, a spokesman for the Democratic governor, told the Associated Press that the pardon would be among a set issued by Beebe next month.

Kyle Beebe, now 34, served three years of supervised probation, paid $1,150 in fines and court costs, and had his driver’s license suspended. At the time of his son’s arrest, the elder Beebe was a few months into a four-year term as the state’s Attorney General.

The governor told KATV Wednesday that he would have pardoned his son earlier, but “he took his sweet time about asking.”

 

Arkansas Attorney General Rejects Wording Of Marijuana Ballot Item

ARKANSAS: The Arkansas attorney general’s office has rejected the wording of a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana in the state.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel‘s office on Friday said the measure by Arkansans for Medical Cannabis contains ambiguities in its text.

McDaniel’s office says the proposal doesn’t clearly define the term “legal residents” and is unclear what regulatory authority, if any, the Legislature would have over the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale and use of marijuana.