Arkansas Medical Marijuana Sales Rise and Missouri Prepares to Begin

by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First

Medical marijuana sales have already surpassed the 21 million mark in Arkansas.

There were delays getting the medical marijuana business up and running in Arkansas but it’s sprinting now.

“You know back in June the question was could we potentially hit a thousand pounds by the end of 2019,” said Scott Hardin, Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission. “Now, as we close out 2019, the question is now, how far over 4-thousand pounds will we be at the end of the year. So, things are really going well.”

Right now 14 dispensaries are open in Arkansas with 18 more to go.

“To say that patients were ready for the product, or the medicine would be an understatement,” Hardin said. “Over the last couple of years on a daily basis, we were receiving calls saying when do we get our medicine? What’s the delay here?”

Right next door voters made Missouri the 33rd state to legalize medical marijuana.

And employers are preparing.

“I think the challenge is if someone comes to work and they are under the influence and folks are afraid to take action because they have a medical marijuana card and so they don’t take action and someone gets hurt on the job. That I think is always the biggest fear of an employer,” said Kevin McConnell, Express Employment Professionals staffing.

Some employers are developing safety-sensitive positions in medical marijuana cards or not.

“So, if folks test positive and they’re in a safety-sensitive position, it doesn’t matter. They’re not going to be allowed to be in that position,” McConnell said. “They’re not going to continue their employment.”

Many people have questions about employer and employee rights on the issue especially considering that on a federal level, pot-smoking is still illegal card or no card.

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