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A ballot committee backing the A̶r̶k̶a̶n̶s̶a̶s̶ ̶M̶e̶d̶i̶c̶a̶l̶ ̶C̶a̶n̶n̶a̶b̶i̶s̶ ̶A̶m̶e̶n̶d̶m̶e̶n̶t Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment* raised $339,982 last month, according to a report released Thursday.

For the first time, Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana received money from more than one donor.

Broadleaf PSG LLC gave $7,500 in monetary contributions and $167,565 in non-monetary contributions to pay for professional signature gatherers from National Ballot Access, according to the report.

The limited liability corporation is backed by Cheney Pruett, chief executive of DMP Investments in Texarkana, said David Couch, a Little Rock-based lawyer who is backing the amendment.

"He is an Arkansan and he helped support the effort to try to get medical marijuana legalized in Ohio," Couch said. "And that failed miserably and so he became interested in medical marijuana ... in his home state."

Pruett is interested in the business of medical marijuana, but the amendment does not guarantee him -- or anyone else -- a stake in the medical marijuana business, Couch said. Forty dispensaries and eight cultivation licenses would be allowed under the amendment.

Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana also reported receiving $164,917 from the Bevans Family Trust last month. The Bevans Family is associated with Lake Liquor in Maumelle.

"I think that they, one, believe that it's the right thing to do and, two, I think that they see it as -- like a lot of people do -- as a possible economic interest," Couch has said.

According to the report, Couch's group spent $244,606 last month, including $226,994 on paid canvassers.

In total, the group raised $444,982 and spent $341,547 through June.

In a report released Monday, a competing group, Arkansans for Compassionate Care, said it had raised $142,252 and spent $121,321 through June.

The group, which collected the majority of required signatures through volunteers, spent $13,896 on paid canvassers last month.

Arkansans for Compassionate Care supports the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act.

The act was approved for the ballot by the secretary of state's office. Couch is awaiting notice on whether or not his proposed amendment has qualified by having enough valid signatures on petitions.

Couch worked with Fults on a proposed 2012 medical-marijuana measure that fell just short of approval by voters in that year's general election. After the 2012 election, the two split over a "grow-your-own" provision, and they pursued separate proposals for this election year.

In another matter, Restore Term Limits, a ballot committee promoting a proposed constitutional amendment to limit state lawmakers to serving a maximum of 10 years in the Legislature, raised no money in June.

Earlier this month, officials with the committee said they did not collect enough signatures of registered voters to qualify for the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

Metro on 07/22/2016

*CORRECTION: The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment is a proposed constitutional amendment pertaining to medical use of marijuana. The amendment was misidentified in an article Saturday about monetary contributions for ballot issues.

Print Headline: Pro 'pot' group reports $339,982


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