Arkansas AG approves MMJ measure for signature gathering

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Arkansas could join a number of other states this year with new marijuana business opportunities, if backers can get a possible medical cannabis ballot initiative past voters.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge approved on Wednesday the language and format of a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. Supporters will now have to collect about 85,000 signatures to make the November ballot.

Rutledge had rejected the five previous MMJ proposals submitted to her, asserting in each case that their titles were too ambiguous. Earlier this month, Rutledge rejected a proposal that backers dubbed “The Arkansas Cannabis Amendment.”

The amendment Rutledge approved this week is called the “The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016,” which was submitted by Little Rock attorney David Couch.

According to a poll released last November, 68% percent of Arkansas voters support medical cannabis legalization, while 26% are opposed.

In November 2012, however, Arkansas voters rejected a MMJ measure by a margin of 51% to 49%.

Rutledge, a Republican, stressed that her green light for backers to start collecting signatures was not an endorsement of the measure.