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State Regulations

The Legal Status of Cannabis in Arkansas

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In the state of Arkansas, cannabis is legal for medical use but not for recreational use. Adult use of cannabis is still outlawed. Both transportation and growing are only allowed for medical use.

In 1923, Cannabis was criminalized.  The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act (Issue 5) qualified for voting in 2012 on the “statewide” ballot. This act would have permitted the growing and medical sale of cannabis by non-profit organizations as well as the cultivation of cannabis by patients who lived over five miles away from a legal dispensary. It was defeated by a 48.6% to 51.4% vote.

Medical cannabis in the state of Arkansas became legal on November 8, 2016, by the passing of Issue 6 by a 53% vote as an amendment to the preexisting state constitution. The recommendation as per this amendment is for patients with a recommendation from a doctor to have cannabis in their possession of up to two and a half ounces (71g)  for treating an ailment from the list of initial 12 qualifying conditions.  The amendment required 4 and 8 cultivators and 20 to 40 dispensaries to be licensed by the state. It however did not allow for patients’ own cultivation at home.

Licensed sales began in May 2019 with the opening of the first dispensary in Hot Springs.  The qualifying health conditions allowed for the medical use of cannabis in the state of Arkansas are:

  • Cancer
  • Intractable nausea
  • HIV+ status / AIDS
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn's Disease
  • ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Tourette's Syndrome
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Persistent Muscle Spasms
  • Severe Arthritis
  • Epilepsy / Seizures
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Intractable Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Wasting Syndrome

Cannabis in Arkansas remains illegal for the use of recreation. First-time possession of amounts up to 4 oz. (110 g) is punishable with a fine not exceeding $2,500, imprisonment not exceeding 1 year, as well as a mandatory suspension of one’s driving license.  Possession under 3 oz. (85 g) of cannabis is considered a misdemeanor and both Fayetteville and Eureka Springs consider this offense as ranking very low in their enforcement priority list.

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.