Two Arkansas groups want to place measures on the November ballot to legalize the adult use of Cannabis, reports KUAR.
Six years ago, voters approved the medical use of marijuana for patients with certain health conditions.
Supporters of the separate state constitutional amendments are working to gather enough valid petition signatures before a July 8, 2022 deadline. That date is four months before the November election.
Responsible Growth Arkansas Would Expand Number Of Dispensaries To 40
The amendment from Responsible Growth Arkansas would expand the number of grower licenses in the state to 20 and dispensary licenses to 40. Campaign Chairman Eddie Armstrong said more “craft weed” operations could enter the market.
“It will allow for an opportunity for us to see more nuances in the Natural State for lower yield, higher quality, better products that will hopefully be in the market for customers to consume,” Armstrong said.
To obtain an adult-use cultivation or dispensary license, people would go through an application process. A lottery system would determine the licensees. Armstrong said this process is to avoid problems and inequities experienced during the granting of licenses for medicinal facilities.
“We saw in our state the last time this type of process happened, and in many other states that I worked in across the country, there is a lot of red tape and sometimes some unfortunate mishandling of how scores are issued,” Armstrong said.
True Grass Arkansas Proposal Would Allow Home Cultivation
One key difference between the proposed amendments is the one by True Grass Arkansas would allow people to grow their own marijuana.
Armstrong said Responsible Growth Arkansas’ proposal not allowing cultivation was on purpose. ”So our law enforcement officers aren’t worried about it getting in the hands of children or you growing it in your backyards and then we have to worry about that law enforcement issue.” (That honestly sounds pretty silly to us. Do we really have to pretend weed is dangerous?)
Both groups say legalizing Cannabis for adult use will reduce a burden on police. Briana Boling, a spokesperson for Arkansas True Grass, said she gets positive comments from law enforcement.
“I’ve had officers tell me that they think it will put a curb on the opioid epidemic,” Boling said. “It will take off of their workload.”
“We’re For The People, By The People”
Class A licenses would cost $250 per year. Licensees could grow and possess an unlimited amount of seeds and plants. Class B licenses would be $500, and allow the selling of anything consisting of cannabis.
“We’re for the people by the people.” Boling said, “We’re about freedom and a fair market.”
More Signatures Needed!
Boling said Arkansas True Grass is about halfway toward collecting the required 89,000 signatures. Armstrong said Responsible Growth Arkansas needs another 50,000 to 70,000 signatures.
Arkansas’ first medical marijuana dispensary opened in May 2019. As of last September, the state Department of Finance and Administration reported sales had reached $400 million with more than 59,000 pounds sold. About 80,000 patients had qualified by that time for medical marijuana cards.
Polling shows that a majority of Arkansas voters support marijuana legalization.