The number of Arkansans approved for medical marijuana cards has grown by about 400 since late October to more than 6,700, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

The Arkansas Department of Health’s fiscal year 2018 Medical Marijuana report, released in July 2018, shows a majority of the 5,459 medical marijuana card holders at the time were white, middle-aged men and the most prevalent qualifying medical condition was intractable pain unresponsive to medicines, treatment, or surgery for over six months.

Intractable pain with those specifications made up 31.1 percent, or 3,053 of the card holders.

The second- and third-most prevalent conditions were severe arthritis (16.1 percent, or 1,582); and post-traumatic stress disorder (10.5 percent, or 1,034 ); followed by peripheral neuropathy (9.8 percent, or 961); and fibromyalgia (9.4 percent, or 918).

The least prevalent medical conditions reported were amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (0.1 percent, or nine), Alzheimer’s disease (0.3 percent, or 25) and Tourette’s syndrome (0.3 percent, or 30).

Other qualifying medical conditions in the report for medical marijuana card holders are severe and persistent muscle spasms not limited to those of multiple sclerosis (6 percent, or 590); severe nausea (3.6 percent, or 350); cancer (3.5 percent, or 345); seizures, including without limitation, those characteristic of epilepsy (3 percent, or 292); hepatitis C (1.8 percent, or 175); glaucoma (1.7 percent, or 171); Crohn’s disease (0.8 percent, or 82); positive status for HIV/AIDS (0.7 percent, or 72); Cachexia, or wasting syndrome (0.7 percent, or 67); ulcerative colitis (0.6 percent, or 61).

Demographics

According to the ADH 2018 Medical Marijuana report, 51.6 percent of the 5,459 cardholders were men and 48.4 percent were women.

By age group, 53.7 percent, or 2,930 of the card holders were between the ages 45 and 64. The second largest age group was 25-44 with 1,518 card holders. Those over age 65 made up 16.4 percent, or 897 of the card holders. Those under the age of 24 made up 2.1 percent, or 114 of the card holders.

Geographics

A majority of the medical marijuana card holders reside in Benton, Pulaski and Washington counties. Between 339 and 538 card holders live in each of those counties, according to the 2018 report.

The report released in July 2018 also notes that between 148 and 338 card holders live in Sebastian County; between 46 and 147 card holders live in Crawford, Logan, and Johnson counties; and between 1 and 45 card holders live in Scott, Polk and Franklin counties.