Arkansas, one of a growing number of states in the South with full plant medical cannabis, started 2022 with bumper sales numbers, according to a KATV report. In January, patients spent $20.53 million at the state’s 37 dispensaries, which averages to $5,500 a pound for the 3,731 pounds sold in that month. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration indicated that the medical cannabis tax increased state coffers by $2.84 million in the same period.
Since the start of medical cannabis sales, 82,696 registered patients have bought more than 76,000 pounds of cannabis and paid the state $60.19 million in taxes, the report says. Last year, it took nine months to produce $25 million in total sales, according to KATV.
The 6.5% sales tax and the 4% wholesale tax on cannabis sold from cultivators to dispensaries go mostly to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences National Cancer Designation Trust. The largest monthly amount collected from the sales tax was in May 2021, when patients paid $1.63 million to the state, KATV notes.
Fifty-three percent of Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 to allow medical cannabis for people with at least one of 17 qualifying conditions and create a state Medical Marijuana Commission to oversee the effort.
Activists are hoping to put two adult-use constitutional amendment questions on 2022 ballots. Sponsored by True Grass Arkansas and known as the Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Amendment of 2022, one of the measures would legalize adult-use cannabis for adults aged 21 or older. NORML is working on a second push for a Constitutional Amendment with many of the same goals, but the Arkansas Adult Use and Expungement Marijuana Amendment includes a six-plant home cultivation provision.
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