Ark. Med Marijuana Assoc. to host symposium; keynote by TV host Montel Williams, who will serve on AMMA board | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ark. Med Marijuana Assoc. to host symposium; keynote by TV host Montel Williams, who will serve on AMMA board

Posted By on Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 12:14 PM

click to enlarge MONTEL: To speak in LR next week on Medical Marijuana.
  • MONTEL: To speak in LR next week on Medical Marijuana.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association announced today that they will be hosting a half day symposium on Wednesday, September 20, dealing with the medical cannabis industry and regulatory issues. The keynote address of the symposium will be delivered by TV host and medical marijuana advocate Montel Williams, who has also accepted a position on the AMMA's board.

The symposium will be held 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the UALR's William H. Bowen School of Law, 1201 McMath Ave., in Little Rock. It is free and open to the public. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association, just now getting up to speed, hopes to be the primary trade industry group for marijuana cultivators, dispensaries and related businesses in Arkansas.

Williams, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1999, has been an outspoken proponent of medical marijuana for those dealing with debilitating illnesses. Williams told Oprah Winfrey in 2009 that before he started using medical marijuana to alleviate his symptoms, the pain and depression caused by his condition were so severe that he tried to commit suicide by throwing himself in front of a New York taxi cab. In April, Williams launched a company called Linitiv Labs, which produces and distributes marijuana edibles and cannabis oils at dispensaries in California.

In a press release from the AMMA, Williams recalled a previous trip to Arkansas to advocate for medical marijuana. “Five years ago, I was in Little Rock on the steps of the State Capitol helping to raise up the voices of the many seriously ill Arkansans who were begging for some compassion," Williams wrote. "I’ll never forget them, so it’s truly an honor for me to join the board of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association as your program begins its implementation. I believe a well-regulated, patient-focused medical marijuana program in Arkansas will lead to conversations in state capitols throughout the South.”

Read the full press release below:

LITTLE ROCK (Sept. 11, 2017) – The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association will host a half-day symposium on cannabis industry and regulatory issues next week featuring a presentation by Emmy award winning talk show host and medical marijuana advocate Montel Williams.

The symposium will be from 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, 1201 McMath Ave., in Little Rock. It is free to the public. The event takes place just two days after the deadline for medical marijuana cultivation and distribution permit applications to be submitted to the state Medical Marijuana Commission. Potential cultivators and distributors will hear from experts on topics including expectations upon receiving a license and license protection in the event of post-award challenges.

Also, in addition to Williams’ presentation, attendees will learn about procurement matters specific to the medical marijuana industry. Williams, who has multiple sclerosis, has been outspoken in support of medical marijuana as a treatment option for a variety of chronic illness symptoms. He will serve on the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association’s board, joining a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds in agriculture, law, health care and business.

“Five years ago, I was in Little Rock on the steps of the State Capitol helping to raise up the voices of the many seriously ill Arkansans who were begging for some compassion. I’ll never forget them, so it’s truly an honor for me to join the board of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association as your program begins its implementation,” Williams said. “I believe a well-regulated, patient-focused medical marijuana program in Arkansas will lead to conversations in state capitols throughout the South.”

Williams, the founder of medical cannabis company Lenitiv Scientific, has pushed for legalizing medical marijuana in the United States for nearly two decades. In 2012, he visited Arkansas to support the ballot measure that year.

The host of the Montel Williams Show for 17 years, he experienced his first symptoms of MS in 1999, when he had a sharp, constant pain in his feet and legs. When pharmaceuticals proved ineffective to treat the pain, his physician recommended medical marijuana. Since that time, Williams has been a daily user of medicinal marijuana to help control symptoms from MS and has been one of the nation’s highest profile medical marijuana advocates.

About the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association:

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association is the leading voice for medical marijuana cultivators, distributors and associated businesses in the Natural State. The association board, a coalition of leaders in health care, agricultural and legal sectors, engages in the policy making process to advocate and promote the industry, educate licensees on best practices to help self-regulate the industry, conducts public education initiatives about the industry at large and encourages the safe use of the drug for medicinal purposes.

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