Arkansas recreational cannabis campaign begins push for 2022 ballot

A grassroots campaign in Arkansas has begun collecting signatures to place a ballot measure before voters next year, in the latest attempt to legalize recreational cannabis in the state.

The organization – Arkansas True Grass – has begun gathering the 89,151 signatures of registered voter signatures needed to qualify for the 2022 ballot. The deadline for signatures is July 8, the Arkansas Times reported.

Under the proposed measure, the state would launch a new unlimited-license adult-use market for entrepreneurs, similar to how some other rec states are structured, such as Colorado and Oregon.

That’s a stark contrast to the existing medical marijuana regulatory framework, which allows only up to 40 dispensaries (38 currently are operational) and eight cultivators (five are operating). Medical cannabis home grows are prohibited.

If the adult-use measure is ultimately victorious, however, anyone 21 or older would be allowed to purchase up to 4 ounces of marijuana per day and home-grow up to 12 plants of their own.

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Recreational marijuana would be subject to an 8% state excise tax and a 5% local sales tax, the Arkansas Times reported.

But a spokesperson for Arkansas True Grass argued that the campaign’s free-market approach would drive down prices overall for consumers and patients.

Arkansas True Grass has tried twice before to make the statewide ballot, however, and failed both times – in 2016 and 2020.