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Fine Tuning

From fine tuning hearing aids via mobile units to armored medical marijuana transport units, House Bills 1034 and 1051 were easily pushed through Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committees Tuesday and Wednesday.

House Bill 1034 would “amend the laws concerning hearing instrument dispensers.” Representative Charlene Fite, bill sponsor, brought forth the bill to protect hearing aid consumers as mobile hearing aid units are increasing.  The bill would hold hearing aid dispensers at a higher standard to ensure that all equipment is calibrated to the proper specifications for working on hearing aids.

Operators of mobile units, whether from inside the state or out-of-state, would be required to report to the Arkansas Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers and list, 30 days in advance, when they will operate in the state, the duration of time and the location.

Fite presented that the bill would not have any fiscal impact on the state and would not require the implementation of new fees. The bill is suggested to help make mobiles that do not have a physical presence in the state like “brick and mortar” dispensers to be visible to the Arkansas Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers. Also, it would ensure that their calibrations are in-line with “brick and mortar” dispensers’ calibrations.

House Bill 1051 would “amend the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016; and to add a licensure procedure for transporters, distributers and processers to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016.”

Representative Bill House, bill sponsor, proposed that those who intend on transporting medical marijuana would be required to be licensed to transport it and would follow rules and regulations set forth by the Department of Transportation.

Some feared that, without the bill, those transporting medical marijuana would be arrested if a traffic stop is conducted on the transporter while they’re “trying to do their job.” The bill would require armored transporters to have video cameras on the vehicle, keep log books, be licensed to transport and follow DOT rules and regulations.

Senators concerned with the bill inquired if even with transporters upholding to the state’s law could they still be arrested by federal agents. The federal government still recognizes all forms of marijuana illegal.

Senator David Sanders proposed a special order of business to review all bills to amend the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 at once, but the motion died without a second in favor.  House did advise that state law enforcement agencies were aware and behind the bill and it was well within the perimeters of DOT.

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