This week, a group submitted
plans for two ballot initiatives in Arkansas to allow recreational use of cannabis and to expunge the records of those with cannabis-related convictions.
The Drug Policy Education Group’s (DPEG) Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment would allow possession of the drug by those 21 and older for personal use (with the understanding that cannabis is still illegal under federal law).
If approved, the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Division would issue licenses to companies to cultivate, process, and sell cannabis and would make the rules governing the system and would have 120 days to do it all. If approved, recreational cannabis could be available in Arkansas by December 4th, 2020.
Licenses would be given to at least one dispensary in each Arkansas county and at least 30 in every Congressional district. Cannabis farming licenses would be given to one company per 250,000 state residents. Dispensaries and farms would have to be at least 1,000 feet from a pre-existing school or church.
State sales taxes could be as high as 10 percent on retail sales of cannabis flower, cannabis concentrate, and edible products containing cannabis.
Taxes would go first to fund the state's recreational cannabis regulatory system. The rest would be divvied up like so: 60 percent to fund and operate public pre-kindergarten and after school programs and 40 percent to fund the operations of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association
CBD flower from The Bold Team, Arkansas’ supplier.
Cities and counties could prohibit commercial cannabis sales by a majority vote of their governing bodies.
Under the proposal, adult Arkansans could possess up to four ounces of cannabis flower, two ounces of cannabis concentrate, and edible products containing cannabis with a tetrahydrocannabiol (THC) content of 200 mg or less. They could also grow up to six cannabis seedlings and six cannabis flowering plants for personal use on residential property owned by the adult or with the written permission of the property owner.
The group’s second proposal is called the Arkansas Marijuana Expungement Amendment. It would petition courts to release or reduce sentences and expunge the records of those convicted of cannabis offenses in the state.
Those convictions include cannabis possession, cultivation, manufacture, distribution, or sale of less than 16 ounces of cannabis or six or fewer mature cannabis plants or cannabis paraphernalia.
Read the proposals in full here