In November 2020, the state of Arkansas voted on the Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Initiative, which would legalize recreational marijuana. While the measure faced opposition, it was approved with up to 23,000 signatures due to a lack of canvassers caused by COVID-19. While recreational marijuana is not yet legal in Arkansas, medicinal cannabis has been allowed since November 2016.
Medical Cannabis in Arkansas
Medical cannabis is available to patients who have been diagnosed with one of several qualifying conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Patients must obtain official written certification from a physician and show proof of residency in Arkansas.
Patients can possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis every two weeks and purchase it from a licensed dispensary listed under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act. Caregivers may also possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis for their patients but are not permitted to consume the marijuana prescribed for them.
Cultivation at home is not allowed in Arkansas for recreational or medical use. However, those who qualify for a Hardship Cultivation Certificate based on financial need may cultivate up to ten plants.
Becoming a Caregiver in Arkansas
To be eligible for an Arkansas medical cannabis caregiver card, applicants must be at least 21 years old, provide care for the patient or minor, and not have a felony conviction. Caregivers must pay for their criminal history check that costs $37.
Pediatric patients’ parents and guardians are needed to become caregivers on behalf of their child. Appointed caregivers must also register for an ID card with the Arkansas Department of Health and submit their own information and the patient information they will assist when applying for an ID card.
Caregivers are permitted to enter, possess, buy and pass medical cannabis from the dispensary to the patient they are caring for. They may also need to help the patient in some instances with product choice, dosing, journaling, and medical cannabis administration.
Visiting Patients in Arkansas
The state of Arkansas allows out-of-state residents with a certified medical cannabis license to obtain a 30-day card to purchase cannabis. Processing time for an application is 10 to 14 days, so visitors should ensure they have ample time to fill out the application for approval before traveling into the state.
Dispensaries in Arkansas carry a wide variety of products. As of 2022, medical marijuana patients are able to purchase all types of medical marijuana products such as dry cannabis flower, tinctures, edibles, extracts, concentrates, vapes, and suppositories.
While recreational marijuana is not currently legal in Arkansas, medicinal cannabis has been available since November 2016. Patients must have an official written certification from a physician and show proof of residency in Arkansas. Caregivers must meet certain qualifications and pay for a criminal history check. Visiting patients with a certified medical cannabis license can obtain a 30-day card to purchase cannabis. Dispensaries carry a variety of products that are available for purchase by medical marijuana patients.