Arkansas AG Rejects Cannabis Ballot Initiative

A ballot initiative that would change Arkansas medical cannabis policy was rejected by the state’s Attorney General due to formatting and ambiguity issues. The initiative aims to expand medical cannabis access and trigger adult-use legalization if cannabis is federally legalized, and is supported by the state’s medical cannabis industry.

Full story after the jump.

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin has rejected the initial language for a ballot initiative that would improve medical cannabis access and trigger adult-use legalization in the state if cannabis were ever legalized at the federal level.

First reported by the Arkansas Advocate‘s Hunter Field, Griffin on Monday rejected the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Amendment of 2024 and ruled that the initiative contained improper formatting and ambiguities about how the initiative would affect current laws. Advocates behind the ballot initiative say that they intend to address the issues raised by the attorney general and then resubmit the proposal.

The ballot initiative, which is supported by the state’s medical cannabis industry, proposes several significant reforms to the state’s medical cannabis program, including:

  • Allowing registered patients to grow their own cannabis plants at home.
  • Allowing nurse practitioners and other health providers to recommend patients for the program.
  • Allowing providers to certify anyone they see fit for the program.
  • Allowing for telemedicine medical cannabis referrals.
  • Recognizing out-of-state medical cannabis patient ID cards.
  • Removing program application fees for patients.
  • And increasing the program’s registration period for patients from one to three years.

Additionally, the ballot initiative would trigger the legalization of cannabis possession by adults were the federal prohibition of cannabis ever repealed.

If a reworked version of the ballot initiative is accepted by the attorney general, advocates will have until July 5 to gather 90,704 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

Arkansas medical cannabis retailers sold about $283 million worth of cannabis products last year.

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