From the desk of: Celeste Brewer

Director of Media for Medcan Foundation, Inc.

Contact: + 1 817-528-2475

Texas is making giant strides in the field of medical cannabis. After, Greg Abbott signed the bill, SB 339 that legalized the restricted use of cannabis extracts for severe epilepsy; there was a house bill and a senate bill inducted to make the medical cannabis program more inclusive to other/additional diseases and disorders.

Yesterday at 11:30 central time, supporters of HB 2107 and SB 269 held a news conference on the north steps of the capitol in Austin. They called on the Representative from the House Committee on Public Health and the Health and Human Services Chairman Charles Schwertner to schedule a hearing on these bills. If the bills are approved it could not only bring billions of taxable revenue, it will also improve the quality of life for many suffering with debilitating conditions.

As for bill SB 339, regarding the use of medical cannabis for severe epilepsy, the Department of Public Safety is currently finalizing the list of applicants for dispensing organization licenses. The date of approval is set for April 30th, 2017 and under favorable circumstances they will be operating as soon as September of 2017.

In Arkansas, The Department of Health is approaching their deadline to make changes to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment regulations. However, they have recently released rules and regulations for dispensing and cultivation operations.

The rules and regulations outline the following; labeling, and testing standards; caregivers assisting patients who are physically disabled or under the age of 18, oversight, recordkeeping, and security requirements for dispensaries and cultivation facilities. As well as the manufacturing, processing, packaging, and dispensing of cannabis, procedures for inspections and investigations of dispensaries and cultivation facilities, and much more.

Arkansas had a maximum of 180 days from November 9, 2016 to establish a registry for identifications cards and begin licensing for dispensary and cultivations sites. The application fee for cultivating and dispensing organizations will be $7,500. The license fee is $25,000 for cultivating dispensaries and $2,500 for non-cultivating. With that said, they will be accepting applications for 32 dispensary and 6 cultivation licenses by July 1, 2017.

We are all very excited and looking forward to the developments and roll-out of these programs. It is long overdue that these great states begin to show compassion to those citizens who suffer the most and afford their entrepreneurs with the same opportunities seen in other states. There is still a long journey ahead for both patients and operators, but the light at the end of the tunnel can now be seen and we will make our way to it, together.

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Pharmacology University

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