HomeNewsArkansas Cannabis Petition Exceeds Signature Goals

Arkansas Cannabis Petition Exceeds Signature Goals

A petition seeking to put the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Amendment of 2024 on the state’s November ballot has reportedly gathered more than enough signatures for consideration.

In 2016, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, Issue 6 supported legalizing medical marijuana for 17 conditions initially and the creation of relevant infrastructure and policies. It was put before voters that year and passed, with just over 53% yes votes. But it wasn’t until 2019 when registry ID cards were finally issued.

Although there was a very drawn-out start, the program has thrived since. While the Arkansas Department of Health is yet to release its 2024 annual report, last year’s indicated 93,716 applications were submitted for a registry ID card in FY2023, and 62,407 patients filed for renewal. The program has become a significant source of revenue for the state, as patients are required to pay a 6.5% sales tax on each medical marijuana purchase, plus an additional excise tax of 4%.

The 2024 amendment seeks to build on the original 2016 legislation by expanding on qualifying conditions to include any deemed by an authorised healthcare practitioner to potentially benefit from medical cannabis. And on that note, the types of health practitioners who will be able to recommend medical cannabis would include a doctor of medicine, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant or a pharmacist holding an unrestricted licence. These practitioners would be protected from penalties.

Furthermore, patients will be able to home-grow up to 14 plants, but only half of the total would be permitted to be over 14 inches tall.  Additionally, medical cannabis cards will be valid for three years, up from a maximum one year currently. And visitors from other states who have a medical card from their home state would be able to purchase medicines from Arkansas dispensaries without the need of a temporary card. At the moment, the temporary card costs $50.

The amendment would also see new guidelines for the sale, transfer, packaging and advertising of cannabis products to ensure safety and compliance.

The full text of the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Amendment of 2024 can be found here.

Leading the petition initiative is Arkansans For Patient Access, which set a goal of collecting 90,000 signatures by July 1. According to a report on Little Rock Public Radio, the effort gathered 110,000 signatures. A significant surplus of signatures is a very useful thing, as some may be rejected during the verification process.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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