The Little Rock Board of Directors (similar to the Memphis City Council) narrowly voted down a measure this month that would have made marijuana arrests the lowest possible police priority.
The new law would have effectively reduced marijuana possession to a citation. Advocates of the measure would have saved court and law enforcement resources while "not needlessly punishing adults with jail time," according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
The Little Rock proposal is similar to one approved by the council here in 2016, which would have reduced possession penalties to $50 or community service. The measure was struck down by state lawmakers.
- Arkansas Marijuana Industry Association
- Queen Mother Goji is now available to Arkansas patients from Bold Cultivators.
Little Rock's proposal was only defeated on a 4-5 vote, a better margin than the 6-2 vote that defeated a similar measure there last year. Director Ken Richardson said he's not giving up on the proposal.
• Arkansas state officials said recently they expect around 25 medical cannabis dispensaries to open in the state in the next two months. Licenses for the shops were issued in February, but only seven have opened so far.
Since May, those dispensaries have sold more than 800 pounds of medical cannabis, totaling more than $6 million in sales.
Brace for Impact
Wanna make some money? Buy some weed.
Nielsen, the company that monitors consumer markets and television viewership, said that while cannabis products are still illegal under federal law, sales will quintuple in the next seven years.
In a report called "Brace for Impact," Nielsen estimated proceeds from sales of legalized cannabis products this year will be $8 billion. By 2025, cannabis sales are expected to be $41 billion. In 2014, 166 marijuana brands existed in two legalized states. There are now more than 2,600 brands operating in four legalized states.
For savvy investors, Nielsen suggests hopping on the cannabis train early.
"In just four years, the face of legalized recreational marijuana has changed dynamically. We forecast much of the same in the hemp-derived CBD sector, which is now invading mainstream retail and grabbing headlines along the way," reads the report. "Be among those who leap ahead of the next shifts, rather than fall behind, by understanding these rapidly changing trends in cannabis."
Further, Nielsen predicts you'll find many of these products in a place you might not expect — the grocery store. Expect cannabis products to show up soon in the cosmetics aisle, the pet-care section, and, of course, across the food and beverage space, Nielsen said.