Since the first medical marijuana dispensary opened in mid-2019, Arkansans have spent $330 million on nearly 50,000 pounds of cannabis. As of June, there were 77,000 active patient cards. Those numbers grow exponentially every few months. We’re still in the dawn of the industry, but obviously a lot of people are sold on the benefits of medical marijuana and undoubtedly there are many others who want to know more. That’s where the Arkansas Times comes in.

The Arkansas Times Medical Cannabis Wellness Expo will be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, at the Albert Pike Masonic Center in Little Rock. Admission is $10 and includes a boxed lunch from Two Sisters Catering. Entry is limited to those 21 and older. Whether you have a patient card or are considering getting one, the expo will help answer any questions about medical cannabis.

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Casey Flippo, the CEO of medical marijuana processor Dark Horse Medicinal and hemp processor Natvana, is sponsor and host of the event. Law firm Wright Lindsey Jennings and accounting firm Frost PLLC are also sponsors. Speakers include Dr. Brandon Thornton, co-owner and CEO of Steep Hill Arkansas, a cannabis science company with a focus on analytical testing; Dr. Brian Nichol, a board-certified anesthesiologist who specializes in chronic pain management; Cathie Hiegel, a cytotechnologist who has years of experience researching medical cannabis; and Melissa Fults, longtime Arkansas medical marijuana advocate and the treasurer for the Arkansas chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Here’s what you can expect to hear about at the expo:

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*The pros and cons of using medical marijuana.
*An introduction to the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids as medicines, and the various ways they can be administered.
*The cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids best suited to combat PTSD, arthritis and glaucoma.
*How Arkansans can work together to protect and expand medical marijuana patients’ rights.

Attendees will also be able to interact with these businesses at the expo: Arkansas Natural Products, Arkansas NORML, Buffalo Co. CBD, Curaleaf, Delta Cannabis Co., Good Day Farm, Greenlight Dispensary, Healing Hemp of Arkansas, Heights Apothecary & Hemp Co., Native Green Wellness, Natural Relief Dispensary and Natvana.

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From 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 27, the expo will host a special industry day aimed at the owners and employees of medical marijuana dispensaries and associated industries. Speakers include Flippo; Doralee Chandler, director of Arkansas Alcohol Beverage Control; Erika Gee of Wright Lindsey Jennings; Curtis Winar of Frost PLLC; Dan Roda of ABACA; and Elizabeth Michael and Martin Thomas of BUD Agency. Members of the industry interested in attending should email leemajor@arktimes.com.