A CLOSER LOOK: The right card is needed to go inside medical marijuana dispensaries – KNWA

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Northwest Arkansas’ second medical marijuana dispensary will open Thursday, but like all other dispensaries, you can’t go in and shop unless you have one of two cards.

“Once the medical marijuana is received by the dispensary, at that point, and moving forward, the only people allowed in the dispensary are those with patient cards and people with a designated caregiver card,” said Scott Hardin, spokesman for Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and the Medical Marijuana Commission.

The Source, Bentonville’s second medical marijuana dispensary after The ReLeaf Center, opens Tuesday.

Medical marijuana cards are formally known as registry identification cards, according to Buddy Wayne, dispensary superintendent for The ReLeaf Center.

The restriction on who can come into a medical marijuana dispensary is in place to ensure that only the patient receives medical marijuana or has access to it.

“Arkansas’ Medical Marijuana Amendment is very specific not only in the intent of the product, but the overall exposure to it,” Hardin said. “If you look at the rules and regulations surrounding dispensaries, there are numerous security requirements that ensure the product remains in the right hands.”

Hardin said every square foot of a medical marijuana dispensary and cultivation center must be under video surveillance.

ABC and the Medical Marijuana Commission has received numerous questions on who can enter a medical marijuana dispensary, according to Hardin.

“Obviously family members may want to accompany their patient inside the facility. However, that’s only possible if that individual is a designated caregiver. It is expected that each facility closely monitors this,” Hardin said.

Sometimes people come to The ReLeaf Center without a medical marijuana card or a designated caregiver card.

“We try to handle these situations quite gently. We have [private security] officers outside who ask people if they have the correct state

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