After an exceedingly successful petition for recreational AR cannabis, Arkansas may soon see changes in its marijuana laws. The Natural State, where over half of residents favor adult-use legalization, legalized medical marijuana in 2016. Now, the Ozarks Region might have another prospect for recreational weed on this year’s ballot.
Elevate Holistics is here to explore the possibility of recreational marijuana in Arkansas, overview the benefits of medical AR cannabis, and teach you how to get a medical weed card in Arkansas. So what’s the deal with recreational marijuana in Arkansas? Could it soon become legal?
Arkansas Recreational Marijuana 2022
What’s going on with weed in Arkansas 2022? Is recreational marijuana legal in Arkansas? Arkansas recreational marijuana is not yet legal but may be on the November 2022 ballot.
Arkansas lawmakers required 89,151 valid signatures to get adult-use cannabis on this year’s ballot. Responsible Growth Arkansas, a group advocating for recreational AR cannabis, submitted more than 190,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office last month – doubling the required amount.
Secretary Thurston certified that Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted enough valid signatures. However, the Board of Election Commissioners rejected the popular name and ballot title on August 3. The commissioners stated that the language was misleading and that certain aspects of the amendment, such as THC limits, were unclear.
The next day on August 4, Responsible Growth Arkansas filed a lawsuit challenging that decision and asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to overturn it. The lawsuit states that the “incorrect rejection” violates the state’s constitution.
With a pressing deadline of August 25 for certifying initiated measures, the advocating group hopes there is a preliminary injunction before then. So will Arkansas legalize adult-use cannabis anytime soon? It’s all in the hands of the Arkansas Supreme Court.
What Would The Initiative Entail?
What would this adult-use marijuana legalization measure entail? The proposed constitutional amendment would:
- Allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of adult-use cannabis from any licensed AR cannabis store.
- Issue recreational marijuana cultivation and dispensary permits to each current medical AR cannabis store and award 40 additional licenses via lottery.
- Give lawmakers the ability to impose up to a 10 percent supplemental tax on recreational cannabis sales.
- Divide tax revenue of up to 10% on recreational cannabis sales between law enforcement, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and Arkansas’ drug court program.
The amendment would not:
- Provide a social equity program or expunge criminal records of cannabis convictions.
- Allow home cultivation of cannabis plants.
- Allow legislature to repeal or amend any of the state’s medical marijuana statutes without voter approval.
Will Recreational Marijuana in Arkansas Affect MMJ Patients?
So if lawmakers legalize recreational marijuana in Arkansas, what does that mean for patients with medical marijuana cards? Will MMJ patients be affected?
Under the current ballot initiative, AR lawmakers would make small changes to the state’s existing medical cannabis program, like repealing residency requirements to qualify as a patient in the state. But, lawmakers could not repeal or amend the state’s medical marijuana statutes without voter approval.
Overall, the lives of MMJ patients in Arkansas would not change if the state legalized medical weed. After getting certified at an AR cannabis clinic, patients would still have access to their cannabis medicine and receive priority at dispensaries, among other benefits. More on the benefits of having an MMJ card below.
It seems unlikely that Arkansas recreational marijuana will be on the 2022 ballot, but we can’t rule it out yet. In the meantime, how can Arkansas residents access weed? The first step is to become an MMJ patient by applying for your medical marijuana card.
How to Get a Medical Weed Card in Arkansas
According to Arkansas law, patients cannot receive their first-time medical marijuana certification through a telemedicine (online) appointment. Instead, patients must find a local physician to issue a written certification in person. A written certification for a medical marijuana card in Arkansas confirms that the patient qualifies for medical marijuana.
Once you’ve received MMJ approval from a doctor, you’ll register online through the Arkansas Department of Health and pay a $50 state fee. After you’ve submitted your application, the board will review it within 10 to 14 days and digitally send your card.
Medical marijuana card renewals in Arkansas are another story – and they can be done online. Elevate Holistics offers an AR cannabis clinic consisting of secure online appointments with certified medical marijuana doctors. Since we are a 100% online telemedicine service, MMJ card renewals for Arkansas are what we’re best at.
When is it time to renew your medical marijuana card?
- Your Arkansas medical card is valid for up to one year.
- You can renew your medical card up to 60 days before its expiration date.
Renewing your Arkansas medical weed card with Elevate Holistics is simple. After filling out your forms, we’ll connect you with a certified Arkansas medical marijuana doctor for an online appointment. After approval, you’ll register through the state. Elevate Holistics is here to guide you through the process and get you back into an AR cannabis store pronto.
Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card Requirements
So you know how to get a medical weed card in Arkansas, but what are the requirements? Qualifying patients must:
- Have a qualifying medical condition
- Be 18 or older
- Parents/guardians of minors can apply to become a caregiver for an MMJ patient under 18
- Have proof of Arkansas residency
- Obtain a written doctor’s certification
Benefits of Having Your Medical Marijuana Card
If Arkansas legalizes adult-use cannabis, what are the benefits of having a medical marijuana card? There are plenty of benefits to having an MMJ card where recreational weed is legal. Here are a few reasons to get MMJ certified through an AR cannabis clinic.
- Lower costs at dispensaries
- Arkansas MMJ patients pay a 6.5% state sales tax and a 4.0% privilege tax on cannabis purchases. Under the proposed amendment, the state could impose an additional supplemental tax of up to 10 percent.
- Across the country, medical marijuana is always cheaper than adult-use cannabis.
- Easier access to dispensaries
- When AR medical dispensaries start adding recreational products, there is likely to be a transitional waiting period before each dispensary offers both.
- Some dispensaries might even remain medical-only or implement medical-only hours. With a med card, patients can go to any dispensary, anytime.
- Local governments could hold elections to prohibit adult-use retailers in their area.
- More cannabis products to choose from at dispensaries
- When a state legalizes recreational weed, there are typically two cannabis menus at dispensaries: medical and adult-use. Medical marijuana menus boast a much broader selection of products than adult-use menus.
- Priority at dispensaries
- In states that have legalized recreational cannabis, dispensaries always prioritize patients. Dispensaries are required to keep an adequate supply of cannabis products in stock for medical patients. MMJ patients will be guaranteed medicine at any AR cannabis store.
- Access to medical marijuana when traveling
- Arkansas offers medical marijuana reciprocity. This means that other states that offer MMJ reciprocity will allow Arkansas MMJ cardholders to purchase weed in their state.
- Greater legal protection
- Currently, if AR law enforcement catches you with marijuana without a medical card, you could face serious consequences like a hefty fine, jail time, and more.
Elevate Holistics Has Your Back – Renew Your MMJ Card
Is recreational marijuana legal in Arkansas? Not yet. So how can you dive into your cannabis journey? Now that you’ve learned how to get a medical weed card in Arkansas, you’re ready for the next step. If this is your first time getting an MMJ card, you must find a local physician for a written medical marijuana certification and then apply through the state’s website.
Until Arkansas laws change, the Elevate Holistics AR cannabis clinic is offering medical marijuana card renewals. Do you need an MMJ card renewal? Check your card’s expiration date – it might be time to renew sooner than you think.