Arkansas voters have the opportunity to sign petitions for several legalization bills this year, and each legalization bill has different potential outcomes for Arkansas cannabis.
Currently, to legally obtain cannabis in Arkansas you must register for a medical marijuana card, though that could change next year.
To get on the ballot, each bill will need to get 89,151 signatures, and it’s likely you’ve seen booths collecting signatures for bills at your local dispensary. You might want to think twice about which bill you’re signing up for, however, because each bill has its own quirks, and they might not all be as beneficial as you think.
In this article, we’ll talk about the reasons why you should think twice about which legalization bill you support in Arkansas!
Which Bill Should You Support to Legalize Marijuana in Arkansas?
Where to Sign Recreational Marijuana Petitions
If you’ve been to the dispensary lately, you’ve likely seen the people set up booths for getting ballot signatures.
That’s because each legalization bill that Arkansans will vote on needs to get 89,151 signatures before being posted on the ballot, so workers are hitting the streets all over Arkansas to hit their numbers.
If you happen to have any questions, you’re probably better off doing your own research because the workers aren’t necessarily political analysts or experts. One booth we stopped by wasn’t even sure which legalization bill they had on the table (hint: it’s the one with most of the money behind it).
Putting your John Hancock on a piece of paper certainly doesn’t have the same effect as checking the box on your ballot question, yet each legalization bill is fighting to get enough signatures to get on the ballot, and some are doing better than others.
Is Home Cultivation Important to You?
One of the easiest ways to distinguish how the bills are all different from each other is to look at which ones allow home cultivation of cannabis.
In fact, only one bill even has home cultivation as a part of the bill, and that’s the Arkansas True Grass Amendment. The AR True Grass bill is by far and beyond the most expansive bill too, offering unlimited dispensaries, unlimited cultivators, home cultivation, record expungement, and 4oz/12 plant/unlimited seedling possession limits.
That’s not to say the bill isn’t without cons, though, because there’s at least one.
The bill allows the sale of recreational cannabis to begin on November 9th, 2022, as opposed to the other bills which have several months of time before recreational sales can begin. The major issue with this is for supply because opening dispensary doors to recreational sales could have an impact on the supply of cannabis available for medical marijuana patients.
This could be handled logistically and certainly it’s only a short-term problem, but it could create higher prices and empty shelves until cultivators could expedite their growing operations and new cultivators begin harvesting.
Do You Care About Marijuana Monopolies?
Another question to ask is how you feel about the control over cannabis supply.
Aside from the Arkansas True Grass effort, the other bills both have a ceiling for cultivation facilities and dispensaries.
The Arkansas Marijuana Amendment of 2022 (ARMA) bill supports 1 cultivator for every 300,000 citizens and 1 dispensary for every 17,500 residents.
The real kicker, though, is the Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment, which not only restricts the number of dispensaries and cultivators, but also divides cultivators into categories.
Tier 1 cultivators consist of the 8 currently installed operators, who are granted the right to grow an unlimited number of cannabis plants, and 12 tier 2 licenses which restrict those cultivators to only 250 plants.
It’s not surprising as to why this bill has the overwhelming support from currently operating cultivators, and it’s not too far of a guess as to how this bill managed to get nearly two million dollars in funding.
So, Which Marijuana Legalization Bill Should I Sign the Petition for in Arkansas?
How To Pick Your Battles & Win the War on Weed
Arkansas started its journey towards cannabis in 2016 as one of the first states in the South to pursue a less restrictive medical marijuana program.
After a few years of legislative sludge and regulatory bumps, the State finally managed to get cannabis into the hands of patients in 2019, though supply was limited, and prices were (and still are) too high.
Now, in 2022, Arkansas became the first state in the South to partner with Cookies, and multiple recreational legalization bills are on the table for voters who want to sign their petitions.
The biggest challenge is overcoming the oversimplification of legalizing recreational marijuana. Yes, most people want recreational cannabis, but most people don’t have a comprehensive plan to put it into action.
No one would be particularly surprised to see voters pass whichever bill that ends up on the ballot, and it would certainly be advantageous if there were only one bill to vote on.
That’s why it’s important to get each bill onto the ballot and make the individual priorities of each bill easily digestible to voters, because voting for the wrong bill could be the difference between creating a restrictive monopoly and growing your own plants.
Ultimately, voters have the opportunity to get the right bills onto the ballot, and whichever bill you believe aligns with your values should be the one you sign.
Become an Arkansas Marijuana Patient
The Arkansas medical marijuana program is currently the only way to legally obtain cannabis in the Natural State. To qualify for medical marijuana, patients must first be diagnosed with a qualifying condition and then receive a medical marijuana certification from a qualified physician.
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at 844-249-8714, and we can answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Arkansas.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at 844-249-8714, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!