Medical Marjuana

In this Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, file photo, marijuana plants grow at GB Sciences Louisiana, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Two recreational marijuana amendment initiatives have been filed in Arkansas.

Both groups will still need to gather more than 89,000 petition signatures and have their ballot titles approved by the state’s election commission before making it on the November 2022 ballot.

The group Arkansas True Grass was the first to file a proposal their calling the “Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Amendment of 2022”.

Their proposal includes allowing adults 21 and older to purchase up to four ounces of smokable or vaporizable marijuana per day with a recreational license. Non-residents would be able to purchase up to an ounce.

Up to 72 ounces of food or drink products are allowed per day and residents can grow up to 12 plants.

Marijuana-related convictions would also be expunged and that includes convictions prior to the passage of this amendment.

The distribution of tax revenue derived from the sale of marijuana will be determined by the Arkansas General Assembly, although they will have to prioritize the funding of the program.

The Arkansans for Marijuana Reforms’ proposal the “Arkansas Marijuana Amendment of 2022” will amend the state’s current medical marijuana laws – Amendment 98 – as well as add recreational.

"If an adult 21 years old or older wants to sit down and eat a cookie or smoke a joint in the privacy of their own home instead of being fallen down drunk somewhere - I’m all for it,” said the group’s Executive Director, Melissa Fults. “I have talked to far too many police officers that have said I would much rather stop someone who has been smoking marijuana than drinking."

This proposal includes allowing adults to possess up to five ounces of marijuana and two ounces of edibles or concentrates. It will also expunge prior non-violent felony or misdemeanor convictions if it was for less than 16 ounces of marijuana, six of fewer mature marijuana plants or paraphernalia.

It creates a micro-grow cultivation license for adults who want to grow their own plants. Each micro-grow must have a minimum of six members and a max of 100. No individuals who own any interest in a cultivation facility or dispensary can hold an interest in any micro-cultivator license. Each member may grow up to six mature plants and six seedlings for personal use only.

The number of cultivations and dispensaries will also grow. Currently, the state has eight cultivators and this proposal would increase that to 11. An additional 166 dispensary licenses would also be created, which includes the current 40 dispensaries allowed.

As far as amending the state’s current medical marijuana laws, this proposal allows doctors to determine if a patient would benefit from the use of marijuana – instead of qualifying medical conditions.

This amendment also offers chronic or terminal patients a lifetime certification which will cost $100 – this in lieu of renewing a medical marijuana card.

The tax revenue collected will help fund this program, including operations. The remainder will be distributed as follows:

  • 40% will go toward Pre-K and after-school programs
  • 20% will help create a fund for low-income medical patients
  • 20% will go to UAMS for research
  • 20% will go toward the state’s general revenue fund

"We are going to completely revamp the medical and add adult-use and just make it a better program that I think everyone in Arkansans can get behind and be proud of,” Fults said.

KATV made multiple attempts to contact Arkansas True Grass for comment, but calls were not returned.