ARKANSAS. (KTVE/KARD) — Currently, through 12 days of early voting in Arkansas, 453,239 people have voted. Perhaps one of the most talked about issues on the Arkansas 2022 Midterm election ballot is Issue 4, the Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment. Issue 4 is an amendment to authorize the possession, personal use, and consumption of cannabis by adults, to authorize the cultivation and sale of cannabis by licensed commercial facilities, and to provide for the regulation of those facilities.
Issue 4 would allow and regulate marijuana for non-medicinal purposes. For people 21 years and older, the amendment would make the possession of one ounce of marijuana for non-medical personal use legal under Arkansas state law for adults, while recognizing the drug remains illegal under federal law and would allow medical marijuana cardholders to purchase non-medical marijuana without that amount counting toward how much they can purchase for medical purposes.
In regards to the cultivation facilities that grow marijuana, this amendment would allow licensed cultivators to grow, prepare, manufacture, process, package, sell and deliver marijuana to dispensaries for non-medical purposes. It would also grant owners of eight existing medical marijuana cultivation facilities a second license to grow marijuana for non-medical sales and would require the state to issue 12 additional marijuana cultivation licenses for growing non-medical marijuana
The issue would also automatically give the existing 40 medical marijuana dispensaries a license to sell marijuana for non-medical uses at their current location starting March 8, 2023. Related to taxes, this would allow the state to charge an additional 10% sales tax on non-medical marijuana sales at dispensaries, resulting in consumers paying up to 16.5% in state sales tax on non-medical marijuana purchases in addition to any city and county sales taxes on their purchases.
The last time Arkansas voters voted on marijuana was in 2016 when they approved the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. Issue 2 on the ballot, if passed, would require 60% of a vote to be won in future referendums. This is making people wonder if this is Arkansas’ last shot at recreational marijuana if 60% of Arkansas voters could not support marijuana legalization in a future election.