Two Arkansas groups are collecting signatures to send competing adult-use cannabis legalization proposals to the state’s November ballot.
Responsible Growth Arkansas and Arkansas True Grass must gather roughly 89,000 signatures before a July deadline to get their proposed constitutional amendments before voters this year, according to a local KUAR report.
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Responsible Growth Arkansas’ measure would expand the number of cannabis cultivation licenses in the state to 20 and the dispensary licenses to 40, the news outlet reported.
“It will allow for an opportunity for us to see more nuances in the Natural State for lower yield, higher quality [and] better products that will hopefully be in the market for customers to consume,” Responsible Growth Arkansas Chairman Eddie Armstrong told KUAR.
Cultivation and dispensary licenses would be awarded through a lottery process under the group’s proposal, which Armstrong said would help avoid the challenges Arkansas experienced when issuing its medical cannabis licenses.
Responsible Growth Arkansas’ measure does not include home grow provisions, which are included in the proposal backed by Arkansas True Grass, according to KUAR.
Arkansas True Grass’ measure would also allow for unlimited adult-use cannabis business licenses, the news outlet reported. Class A licenses would allow cultivators to possess and grow an unlimited number of seeds and plants, while Class B licenses would allow retailers to sell cannabis products to consumers.
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“We’re for the people, by the people,” Briana Boling, a spokesperson for Arkansas True Grass, told KUAR. “We’re about freedom and a fair market.”
Arkansas True Grass has gathered about half of the required 89,000 signatures, according to the news outlet, while Responsible Growth Arkansas needs another 50,000 to 70,000 signatures to reach its goal.
Arkansas True Grass previously tried to get an adult-use cannabis legalization measure before voters in the 2020 election, but ultimately fell short on signatures due to challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arkansas’ first medical cannabis dispensaries opened in May 2019 and roughly 80,000 patients were enrolled in the program as of September 2021, according to KUAR.
The state’s dispensaries had sold more than $500 million worth of medical cannabis to date as of January.