Pediatric Nurse Joins Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission

With two years remaining in his term, James Miller resigned from the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission (AMMC) last month to take care of personal and business matters. In his place, the AMMC has appointed a nurse from Arkansas Children’s Hospital with over a decade of experience in pediatric care.

Thirty-eight-year-old Cabot resident Justin Smith was appointed to the AMMC on Monday and will serve the remainder of Miller’s term, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Smith has worked in pediatric care for eleven years and currently manages the neuroscience unit at the hospital.

“I’ve seen it work with my own eyes,” said Smith Monday. “When you see that, it kind of changes your mind and perspective on things. Especially in my case when you see it work on children, you can’t really deny it has some benefit with proper application.”

Smith and the also-recently-appointed Kevin Russell are scheduled to attend their first AMMC meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday to review consulting scores for the 200 applications submitted for the state’s 32 medicinal cannabis dispensary permits.

Arkansas voters passed a constitutional amendment in November 2016 to legalize medical marijuana in the state and allow the commission to distribute licenses, but legal and regulatory setbacks have delayed the start of the program.