According to the Department of Finance and Administration, Arkansas spent $33 million on medical cannabis mid-July through August — total sales from the state’s first dispensary opening in mid-2019 through Labor Day are expected to cross the $400 million mark.
During that six week period, Arkansans purchased 5,038 pounds of cannabis at in-state dispensaries for their $33 million—an increase of $6.5 million in sales compared to figures from mid-July, when Arkansas patients spent $26.5 million on 3,924 pounds of medical cannabis.
The Releaf Center in Bentonville reported 6,256 pounds of medical cannabis sales since opening in August 2019 becoming the first dispensary in the state to reach 6,000 pounds of medical cannabis sales.
Representative for Arkansas True Grass, Jesse Raphael noted that “while Arkansas does have a great medical marijuana program, it does have shortcomings. It doesn’t allow for the patients to grow and the medicine itself is very expensive.”
Inspired by the success of the medical marijuana program, Arkansas cannabis advocates have begun gathering signatures to put an adult-use legalization question to voters for the 2022 midterm election. The proposal would permit adults to cultivate up to 12 plants in their homes, allow sales through licensed retailers, allow cannabis use and possession by adults 21-and-older, and allow for expungement of all cannabis crimes that would be legal under the amendment.
The campaign faces a deadline of July 2022 to get the issue on next year’s ballots.