First Batch of Medical Marijuana Identification Cards Comes to NWA

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Over 7,000 Arkansans have been approved for a Medical Marijuana ID card, one Northwest Arkansas woman has already received her card in the mail but the problem – she has to wait months to use it.

When Tammy Calder went to the end of her driveway over the weekend she found something she’s been waiting years for. 

“I was approved in November of 2017, so it’s been quite awhile,” Calder said. 

Tammy is one of more than 7,000 Arkansans who will have active Medical Marijuana Patient Cards starting Friday, February 15th.

But dispensaries announced they won’t be opening till the beginning of summer. 

“It’s just sad,” Calder said. “We are losing our money. We are losing two months and three and then four, maybe longer.”

Two border states – Oklahoma and Missouri – took about six months to have product on the shelves.

But the Arkansas Department of Health says it’s not paying attention to outside influences.

Instead, it wants to take time.

“Oklahoma has their own rules and I believe they may honor Arkansas cards, but again bringing the product from another state into Arkansas would not be legal federally I believe,” Arkansas Health Department Director Dr. Nate Smith said. 

Calder tells me access to medical marijuana will lighten her prescription load. 

“I know right now I look like a normal person but at 5 o’ clock when I take all my medicine I can’t move,” Calder said. “My husband has to get my dinner. My son gets me a drink. My husband brings me my second dose of medicine while he walks me to bed. That’s a medication I will go off of and I won’t have this side effect.”

For now she says she’s going to keep her card safe and remain grateful.

“I never anticipated to see this in my lifetime, but I’m happy about it,” Calder said. 
 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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