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Campaigners Push For Recreational Marijuana Initiative To Be On Ballot In Arkansas | Texarkana


TEXARKANA, Ark. – The first medical marijuana dispensary opened in the state of Arkansas in May 2019 and more than two years later, sales continue to grow.

The state has exceeded $ 300 million and over 50,000 pounds in overall sales. But in the future, advocates fear the program will never meet the needs of the state’s patients.

The Arkansans voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2016 through a voting initiative with 53% support. The first dispensary opened in May 2019.

Medical marijuana lawyer Melissa Fults said the program really can’t grow because there aren’t enough dispensaries.

“There can only be a maximum of 40 dispensaries and that’s not enough to cover the state of Arkansas. They kept saying it only went to 30,000 patients. are about to hit 80,000, “Fults said.

You must have a medical marijuana card to purchase products at dispensaries.

Currently, the law limits the number of dispensaries and growers allowed to operate in the state. This is why Fults says there are still patients who drive an hour and a half and two hours one way to get their meds.

“We are stuck right now with no way to expand the program. No way to reach people in small rural areas,” Fults said.

Two dispensaries opened in Texarkana in January 2020. Red River Remedies and Bloom Medicinals have sold a combined quantity of over 1,100 pounds of marijuana.

Last August, Arkansas regulators granted licenses to dispensaries in Garland County and the city of Texarkana, Ark. For now, the two new licenses will fill the quota that the state is authorized to issue under state law.

Arkansas Now Accepting Medical Marijuana Applications

“Unfortunately I don’t think the program will get any better until we use adults and the reason I’m saying this is with an amendment on adult use that will adopt it. , it will open up the state. It will give more dispensaries, “Fults said.

Fults said she never intended to fight for full legalization, but believes the state’s medical marijuana amendment did not go far enough to help patients of State.

She said at least two groups were pushing for a recreational cannabis amendment in the 2022 poll. However, they need more than 89,000 signatures by July for the amendment to appear on the ballot. vote.

“So for me the only way to solve this problem is to get a really good initiative for adult use on the ballot, get it passed, so our patients can get some relief from some of those things that our legislature has forced on them, ”Fults said.

The deadline to get recreational marijuana on the ballot in Arkansas is July 2022.