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Cannabis Cashing Up Arkansas Coffers

Arkansas’ medical marijuana program is continuing to provide a nice revenue stream for the state.

Medical marijuana sales for the first two months of 2023 jumped by $4 million compared to the same period in 2022 according to the Arkansas Department of Finance Administration.

This will provide a healthy boost to the state’s coffers. In Arkansas, patients are required to pay a 6.50% sales tax on each medical marijuana purchase, plus an additional excise tax of 4%. State taxes on medical marijuana totaled $5.3 million for January and February 2023 according to the Department.

Last year, medical marijuana sales in Arkansas set a new record – $276.3 million in revenue, up 4.3% compared with the previous record of $264.9 million in 2021. State tax revenue from medical marijuana totaled $32 million in 2022.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (Issue 6) was approved by the state’s voters in November 2016. Among current qualifying conditions for the program are cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe arthritis and intractable pain. PTSD is the most common qualifying condition used to access the program – around 32.9% of patients as at the end of June last year; with intractable pain the second most common (30.3%).

To legally access medical marijuana in Arkansas, an official certification must first be obtained from a medical physician before applying for a card. And to be protected under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, products must be purchased from one of the licensed dispensaries in the state – of which there are 32.

In the FY22 period (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022), a total of 86,380 patients submitted applications for a Medical Marijuana Registry ID Card.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, as at March 11 2023 there were 92,546 active medical marijuana cards in the state. This works out to be equivalent to approximately 3% of the state’s entire population having an active card – and of course the proportion would be much higher if you take children out of the population total.

Further information on the state’s program can be found here.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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