Arkansas officials are anticipating that between 20,000 and 40,000 people will ask for permission to obtain medical marijuana.
The state Health Department’s chief lawyer, Robert Brech, told a joint meeting of the Senate and House Public Health Committee on Monday that running Arkansas’ medical marijuana program will cost about $1.5 million over the next year.
Medical marijuana registration cards will cost about $50. Under the proposed rules, an Arkansas driver’s license or state ID will be required to obtain one.
Arkansas’ population is about 3 million people. According to Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection spokeswoman Lora Rae Anderson, there are 18,232 medical marijuana patients in that state. Connecticut has a population of about 3.6 million.
Brech said there had been some debate about requiring a state ID to get a registration card.
“Some people objected to that because they think it’s a good opportunity for Arkansas to become a medical marijuana tourist destination,” Brech said.
Brech said the Justice Department made it clear that states with a medical marijuana program should ensure that it does not flow into states where similar measures have not been passed.
Brech cited a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs from Oklahoma and Kansas against Colorado over that state’s legalization of marijuana.