In a remarkable uptick, consumer spending on legal medical marijuana in Arkansas soared to a record-breaking $283 million in 2023, marking a 2.5% increase from the $276 million reported in 2022. Scott Hardin, the spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), highlighted the industry's consistent growth, emphasizing the journey from $31 million in sales in 2019 to the substantial $283 million milestone in 2023.
The month of December witnessed a significant peak, with expenditures reaching $25.6 million – the highest monthly amount for the entire year. According to DFA reports, a total of 62,227 pounds of medical marijuana found its way to Arkansas consumers in 2023, reflecting the substantial demand within the state.
Arkansas has positioned itself as a robust hub for medical marijuana, boasting 38 dispensaries, eight cultivators, and nine processors. The state's commitment to accessibility is evident in the reported count of over 97,000 active medical marijuana cards, as confirmed by the Arkansas health department. Since its launch in May 2019, the Arkansas medical marijuana program has seen cumulative sales surpass the impressive $1 billion mark, underscoring the program's sustained success.
Despite the flourishing medical marijuana landscape, it's noteworthy that Arkansans voted against the legalization of recreational cannabis in November 2022, indicating a clear distinction between medical and recreational cannabis preferences within the state.
This story was originally published by MJBizDaily.