Two Arkansas groups are seeking to put adult-use cannabis legalization on November ballots, National Public Radio-affiliate KUAR reports. Both groups are proposing constitutional amendments to enact the reforms and must collect 89,000 valid signatures from registered voters in the state.
Briana Boling, a spokesperson for the group True Grass Arkansas, said the group is about halfway to the signature goal. Their proposal would allow home cultivation and impose no limits on the number of licensed businesses. It sets Class A license fees at $250 per year and those licensees could grow and possess an unlimited amount of seeds and plants. Class B licenses would be $500 and allow the selling of anything consisting of cannabis.
Boling told KUAR that the organization has heard positive feedback from law enforcement on the reforms, saying that they’ve told her “they think it will put a curb on the opioid epidemic” and “will take off of their workload.”
The measure backed by Responsible Growth Arkansas would expand the number of cultivation licenses in the state to 20 and dispensary licenses to 40. The organization’s chairman, Eddie Armstrong, told KUAR that it would enable more craft products in the market.
“It will allow for an opportunity for us to see more nuances in the natural state for lower yield, higher quality, better products that will hopefully be in the market for customers to consume.” – Armstrong to KUAR
Under Responsible Growth Arkansas’ plan, cultivation and dispensary license hopefuls would need to go through an application process and then be selected through a lottery system. Armstrong told KUAR that the process was chosen to avoid similar problems and inequities seen during the medical cannabis licensing process. The proposal does not allow home grow, which Armstrong said would help quell concerns about children accessing cannabis.
Armstrong told KUAR that the group needs another 50,000 to 70,000 signatures.
The state’s first medical cannabis dispensary opened in May 2019 and as of last September sales had reached $400 million with more than 58,000 pounds sold, the report says. By that time, about 80,000 people had been issued medical cannabis cards.
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