Medicinal cannabis comes to Arkansas after two years

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After more than two years dispensaries in Arkansas will have medicinal cannabis available for patients as early as next month.

Researchers in the Natural State are already beginning to study the effects of medical marijuana.

Dr. Bradley Martin, a professor of medical sciences at the University of Arkansas, explains what he hopes to learn from the online surveys…    

“What we’re going to do is compare those persons that get the card with some of those who do not get the card, but have similar conditions,” Martin said.

1,800 have already agreed to participate in the study. Researchers hope that number grows.

Ultimately – they hope to learn if medical marijuana actually works for patients. They also hope to find out which form is most effective – from smoking to edibles.. to topical oils.

Doctor William Piechal from the Healing Arts Medical Center in Fayetteville says he hopes researchers do even more studies. He’s already prescribing medical marijuana.

He wants to know what works for any of the 18 conditions medical marijuana can treat…

“I’d like to see what type of physiological basis which these particular indications are based on. Look at the value of clinical studies when you go to produce any type of legal pharmaceutical,” Piechal said.

There’s also a push for the state, and even the federal government, to pay for research. Arkansas State Senator Jim Hendren says marijuana is taxed for that reason.

Even those who plan to sell it say patients should know more about what they’re using as treatment.

Missouri voters approved medical marijuana in November. 

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says patients could purchase medical marijuana as early as January 2020.

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