Please Note: In accordance with Arkansas state law, we, unfortunately, have suspended all AR telehealth appointments until 8/1.

In many states, like neighboring Oklahoma and Missouri, it is legal for patients and/or their caregivers to grow their medical marijuana medicine at home. However, home cultivation in Arkansas it is not legal for patients or their caregivers. 

According to the rules on the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) site:

“Qualifying registered patients and their designated caregivers cannot grow or cultivate medical marijuana. Marijuana-infused products must be purchased through the Arkansas medical marijuana dispensaries.”

What is Home Cultivation?

Some states with medical cannabis programs allow patients or their caregivers to grow cannabis plants at home in order to supply their MMJ medicine. 

This usually comes with restrictions, like on the number of plants that you may grow at any given time and where you grow it — usually in a locked, indoor room or a locked greenhouse on the approved patient or caregiver’s property. 

Some states, like Oklahoma, have fairly loose rules, which allow you to grow on someone else’s property—with their permission, of course.

Why Medical Marijuana Patients Want to Home Grow

There are several benefits to home growing your own medical cannabis. More affordability in the long run is a key benefit. Although it can be expensive to get a setup going, over time, growing your own plants can substantially relieve your wallet.

In most states, insurance does not cover MMJ. This is especially hard on low-income folks who may have to sacrifice in one area to cover their medicine expenses. 

Many argue that in states like Arkansas excwessively limit the number of growers and dispensaries. This means patients have little choice but to pay what a few companies might be charging. That is, there’s little competition, which can keep prices higher.

Another reason to cultivate medical marijuana at home is to ensure patient choice. Therefore, not limiting them to what is available on a dispensary’s shelves on any given day. If there is a specific strain that is beneficial for your condition, you can be in control of your supply.

Finally, many states take a long time to get dispensaries up and running. If patients can cultivate in the meantime, it keeps patients from unnecessarily waiting for relief. 

Arguments for Home Cultivation in Arkansas

Advocates for growing MMJ at home argue that there is a lack of a free market when it comes to cannabis in Arkansas. As of July 2020, Arkansas has licensed eight companies. But only three growers are in operation. Considering that MMJ has been legal in AR since 2016, some might consider that an issue with supply and pricing. The state has 33 licensed dispensaries, and 24 are up and running as of November 2020.

MMJ is supposed to be implemented to give access to cannabis medicine to everyone fairly. Many advocates and patients argue that without homegrow and a robust cannabis economy, that access to medicine is being unnecessarily limited.

Elevate Holistics

At Elevate Holistics, we want MMJ patients to understand their right to access medicinal cannabis and the scope of all that comes along with it. 

Elevate is an online clinic offering certifications with compassionate registered cannabis doctors. Medical cannabis patients can book same-day appointments and get certified from the convenience of their home. In addition, we are a medical cannabis resource that partners with other industry experts to help make MMJ as easy and accessible as possible. 

Check out how a designated caregiver can help you with access to your MMJ in Arkansas.

Read how Oklahoma is doing home cultivation.

Check out Missouri’s rules for patient homegrow.