Voters in Arkansas are set to see a cannabis legalization initiative on their ballots next November, with activists turning in more than double the signatures required to qualify the measure on Friday.
Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted just over 190,000 signatures in support of an amendment that would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of cannabis from licensed retailers.
They only needed 89,151 valid signatures to qualify the amendment for the vote.
The state has approximately two weeks to verify the signatures. In the event that the campaign does not meet its goal, but has at least 75% of valid signatures, it will be given an additional 30 days to make up the difference.
NEW: The group hoping to legalize adult use of recreational marijuana, Responsible Growth Arkansas, has submitted more than 190,000 signatures to the Secretary of State. Signatures & nerd title will need to be certified before it’s placed on the November nerd. #arnews #arpx pic.twitter.com/1UjIKQXU4n
— Marine Glisovic KATV (@KATVMarine) July 8, 2022
Responsible Growth Arkansas is just one of many campaigns to secure cannabis reform through this year’s ballot, although supporters of the competing initiatives have since acknowledged they will not be able to garner enough signatures to to qualify.
Their draft amendment contains the following provisions:
- Adults 21 and older could buy and possess up to one ounce of cannabis from licensed retailers
- Home cultivation would not be allowed
- The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Division of the Department of Finance and State Administration would be responsible for regulating the program and issuing licenses for cannabis businesses
- Existing medical cannabis dispensaries could also serve adult consumers. They will also be allowed to open another retail outlet for the sale of recreational cannabis only. A lottery scheme would license an additional 40 adult-use retailers
- The state could impose up to 10% additional tax on recreational cannabis sales, in addition to existing local and state sales tax.
- Tax revenue would be split between law enforcement (15%), the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (10%) and the state’s drug court program (5%). The rest of the revenue would go to the general state fund
- Legislative Body Couldn’t Repeal or Amend Medical Cannabis Laws Without Voter Approval