Arkansas’s Cannabis Laws and Regulations
Arkansas is one of the 33 states that has legalized medicinal marijuana. However, recreational use remains illegal and there are penalties if caught in possession of cannabis.
Throughout this article, we’re going to give you everything you need to know about cannabis laws and regulations in Arkansas.
Medical Marijuana in Arkansas
In November of 2016, Arkansas voters passed the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (AMMA), or Issue 6. Under this law, those who struggle with serious illnesses can gain a doctor’s approval to purchase and consume cannabis.
There are currently five cultivation companies within the state and 32 businesses that are allowed to legally sell cannabis.
The Natural State’s marijuana program is regulated by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Through this organization, you can obtain a medical marijuana ID card.
How to Obtain an Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card
In order to obtain a medical marijuana ID card in Arkansas, you must struggle with one of the following medical conditions:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- Chron’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Intractable pain (pain that doesn’t respond to normal medications, treatment, and/or surgical measures)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Seizures (including epilepsy)
- Severe arthritis
- Severe muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis)
- Severe nausea
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
If you are struggling with a medical condition that is not on this list, but you believe cannabis can help with, you are allowed to file a petition with the ADH.
If you do struggle with one of the above-mentioned conditions, you must first apply to be a patient with ADH online. This application costs $50.00 (non-refundable) and, if you have a caregiver, they must pay $37.00 for a background check.
However, if the caregiver is a legal guardian or parent of a patient younger than 18, then a background check is not required.
In order to qualify for a medical marijuana card in Arkansas, you must also:
- Be at least 18 years of age (minor patients can also qualify with parent’s consent)
- Have been diagnosed with one of the above-mentioned medical conditions
- Have a written certification from a physician
- Have valid proof of Arkansas residency
It’s important to note that active members of the Arkansas National Guard and the United States Military cannot obtain a medical marijuana ID card.
Cannabis Consumption in Arkansas
If you hold an Arkansas medical marijuana ID card, you are legally allowed to consume cannabis in your household.
Like other states that have medically legalized, it remains illegal to consume cannabis in a public place.
Cannabis Possession and Cultivation in Arkansas
Patients with an Arkansas medical marijuana ID card are allowed up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of medical marijuana every 14 days. Cannabis must be purchased from a state-approved medical marijuana dispensary.
It is currently illegal for both patients and caregivers to cultivate cannabis in Arkansas.
Recreational Cannabis in Arkansas
If you don’t hold an Arkansas issued medical marijuana ID card, then it remains illegal to possess, sell, and cultivate cannabis. Charges tend to vary, depending on how much cannabis you’re caught in possession with.
Cannabis Possession and Cultivation
If you are caught with less than 4 ounces (113 grams) of cannabis on a first offense, it’s classified as a Class A misdemeanor. As a result of this charge, you can be placed in jail for up to a year and be fined upwards of $2,500.
Cultivation charges are similar to that of possession and ultimately depend on the amount of marijuana you’re caught with or if you are caught in a position where you have the intent to deliver cannabis.
If you’re caught with less than 14 grams (half an ounce) with the intent to deliver, this results in a misdemeanor similar to the above mentioned possession charge.
However, more than 14 grams results in a felony charge with consequences depending on the amount of marijuana you’re caught. If you hold an amount greater than 4 ounces, the mandatory minimum is a three-year prison term along with a $10,000 fine.
CBD and Hemp Laws in Arkansas
Cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp (any cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC) are no longer considered Schedule I substances by the Federal Controlled Substance Act.
While it’s legal to purchase and consume CBD in Arkansas, the current legislature doesn’t regulate Arkansas’s CBD market.
Not to mention, sometimes CBD products and hemp are confused with marijuana. Being as there’s so much misinformation surrounding these substances, we suggest you use with caution.