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Arkansas Medical Cannabis Sales Top $21 Million in February

Arkansas Medical Cannabis Sales Top $21 Million in February

A.J. Herrington

By A.J. Herrington

March 22, 2022

Arkansas

retailers sold more than $21 million worth of product last month. These findings are according to figures released on Tuesday by state regulators. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) that medical cannabis sales amounted to $21.1 million in February. This brings the total sales for the year so far to nearly $41.7 million. In January, monthly Arkansas medical cannabis topped $20 million for the first time on a reported volume of $20.53 million.

The state’s 38 licensed dispensaries sold 3,658 pounds of medicinal cannabis in February. This number was slightly lower than the 3,731 pounds sold the previous month. February’s top retailer was Natural Relief Dispensary in Sherwood, Arkansas. The dispensary sold 373 pounds of medical marijuana last month. Overall, medical marijuana dispensaries in the state have sold approximately 80,000 pounds of cannabis since regulated sales began just under three years ago.

Arkansas voters legalized medical marijuana in 2016 with the passage of Issue 6. The constitutional amendment and ballot measure, Issue 6, received the approval of 53 percent of voters. Under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, patients can receive a doctor’s recommendation to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for the treatment of one or more qualifying medical conditions.

Medical cannabis dispensaries began serving patients in May 2019. The newest dispensary opened its doors to patients on March 7. Arkansas now has 82,410 active registered medical patients, according to the state health department.

Arkansas Medical Cannabis Sales Ahead of Recreational Legislation

As the Arkansas medical cannabis industry continues to grow, activists in the state are now working to legalize adult-use cannabis. In October, a group headed by former Democratic state representative Eddie Armstrong launched a campaign to legalize recreational marijuana. The statement of organization from

notes that the organization will “advocate for the passage of an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to allow the regulated sale of adult-use cannabis in the state,” to media reports.

Under a separate proposed ballot measure from

known as the Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Amendment of 2022, cannabis would be legalized for adults ages 21 and older. The measure includes provisions to cultivate up to 12 cannabis plants at home. The measure would also release nonviolent cannabis offenders from incarceration and supervise release. It would also expunge offenders’ records of past marijuana convictions. 

The proposed constitutional amendment would also establish a regulatory structure for the production and sale of recreational marijuana. Sales of adult-use cannabis would be subject to an eight percent marijuana excise tax in addition to the state sales tax. Local jurisdictions would also be permitted to levy a five percent tax on recreational marijuana sales.

Surveys Show Support for Recreational Cannabis

Last month, the results of a survey found that a majority of registered voters in Arkansas supported legalizing recreational cannabis. According to

from Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College, 53.5 percent of respondents said that cannabis should be legal for adults 21 and older. 

Dr. Jay Barth, an organizer of the survey and an emeritus professor of politics at Hendrix College, said that over “our time of polling, perhaps no issue has shown more movement than have Arkansans’ attitudes on marijuana legalization.” Dr. Barth explained that the change in public attitudes coincided with the two different campaigns to legalize medical marijuana in Arkansas.

“After an attempt at legalization of medical marijuana failed at the ballot box in 2012, Arkansas voters narrowly passed a revised proposal in 2016. While it took longer than expected for the marijuana bureaucracy—including certified growers and dispensaries—to be established, Arkansans have become used to the presence of visible, legal marijuana in the state,” Barth said in an analysis of the survey’s results. “The question now is whether it is time for the next big step: the legalization of regulated recreational marijuana for adults in the state. Our survey suggests that Arkansas voters may be ready to take that step.”

A.J. Herrington

About The Author

A.J. Herrington

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