Is Marijuana Legal in Arkansas?

marijuana arkansas
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The journey towards marijuana legalization in Arkansas has been long and is still miles ahead. After several failed attempts to legalize recreational cannabis, Arkansas has only a legal medical marijuana industry. However, the industry has continued to thrive and still offers Arkansas’ residents some of the benefits of having a legal marijuana market.

Is Weed Legal in Arkansas?

No, recreational use of cannabis is still illegal in Arkansas. However, CBD is considered safe and legal to use by state authorities.

When Will Weed be Legal in Arkansas?

There are currently no urgent plans to legalize recreational cannabis in Arkansas. However, advocates are working tirelessly to secure enough signatures to make marijuana legalization appear on the ballot by 2022.

Are Edibles Legal in Arkansas?

No, all forms of recreational cannabis (except CBD) are currently illegal in the state. 

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Arkansas?

Yes, medical use of marijuana is legal in Arkansas. Patients with qualifying conditions and express approval from their Doctors are allowed to consume marijuana products in Arkansas. However, despite being legal, medical marijuana can only be consumed in patients’ homes and not in public.

How to Get Medical Marijuana in Arkansas

Qualified patients who require medical marijuana can legally purchase products via licensed dispensaries that are registered with the state. Patients must locate these dispensaries and present their medical marijuana cards to receive service. Caregivers can also be designated to purchase medical marijuana on behalf of patients. Also, some medical dispensaries in Arkansas offer delivery and curbside pickup services for their marijuana products.

Can I go to a dispensary without a card in Arkansas?

No, patients are required to show their medical marijuana cards at licensed dispensaries when purchasing marijuana products. However, visiting patients from other states are allowed to purchase with their out-of-state medical marijuana cards. These patients are required to apply for the Health Department’s website before purchasing marijuana from dispensaries. If their application is successful, they will be allowed to access medical marijuana services in Arkansas for 30 days.

How Long Does it Take to Get Your Medical Card in The Mail in Arkansas?

On average, it currently takes around 30 days to get your medical card in the mail in Arkansas. This includes the standard 10-14 days processing time.

Does Arkansas accept out-of-state MMJ cards?

Yes, Arkansas operates a visiting patients policy that allows these patients to purchase medical marijuana products from dispensaries in the state provided that they can show evidence of their out-of-state MMJ cards. 

Marijuana Bills/Laws in Arkansas & Key Questions

Arkansas’ marijuana legalization history and the journey have been very brief so far. Before medical marijuana was legalized in the state, the cities of Eureka Springs and Fayetteville both introduced an initiative to deprioritize marijuana crime enforcement in 2006 and 2007 respectively. However, 53% of Arkansas voters approved the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (AMMA) on Nov. 8, 2016. 

This amendment (also called Issue 6) allows seriously ill patients to possess or consume medical marijuana products with approval from their doctor. Issue 6 also makes provisions for the establishment of licensed dispensaries and state-backed cultivation facilities.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about marijuana legalization in Arkansas.

How much can I have (in oz)?

Patients can purchase up to 2.5 ounces (70.87 grams) of medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary in Arkansas every two weeks. Possession of cannabis for recreational purposes remains illegal.

Is Marijuana Decriminalized in Arkansas?

Marijuana is not currently decriminalized in Arkansas. Possession of fewer than 4 ounces of marijuana for first-time offenders is a misdemeanor with up to a year in jail and up to $2500 fine.

Is there a Fine or Penalty in Arkansas? 

First-time offenders could incur up to $2500 for possession of fewer than 4 ounces of marijuana.

Plants per household in Arkansas

Cultivation of marijuana plants at home is still prohibited in Arkansas. Qualifying medical marijuana patients cannot currently grow their marijuana plants.

Dispensaries regulations

Regulations surrounding the licensing of dispensaries in Arkansas fall under the supervision of the Medical Marijuana Commission. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission is backed by Issue 6 to administer and regulate the issuance of licenses to operate medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities.

Growers regulations

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (AMMA) also tasks the Medical Marijuana Commission with the responsibility of administering and regulating the issuance of licenses for marijuana growing facilities across the state.

Closing thoughts

Arkansas may look like it’s far away from achieving full marijuana legalization but a lot can change in the next year or two. Despite the state’s inability to make marijuana legalization appear on the ballot in 2018, it will have another chance in 2022 to do so. There are hopes statewide that the ballot initiative may just secure enough signatures to make it appear on the ballot by 2022. The fast-growing medical marijuana industry in the state is also a big win for advocates who continue to push for recreational cannabis legalization statewide.