- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers have advanced a plan to delay the launch of the state’s medical marijuana program and a proposal removing a requirement that doctors recommending the drug say benefits outweigh its risk.

The House Rules Committee endorsed a bill Wednesday to give state agencies until early May rather than March to finalize rules for the medical pot program voters approved last year. The bill would also move the deadline for the state to accept dispensary and cultivation facility applications from June to July.

The panel also supported a measure that would remove a requirement that doctors recommending the drug for qualified patients certify that its benefits outweigh its risks.

Both measures passed on voice votes without dissent and are expected to go before the full House next week.

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