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3rd bid to legalize recreational marijuana in Arkansas filed

by Rachel Herzog | January 25, 2022 at 12:31 p.m.
FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2016 file photo, marijuana plants grow at a home in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marina Riker, File)

A third group seeking to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use in Arkansas filed a petition for a constitutional amendment with the secretary of state's office on Monday.

The Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment is backed by the ballot question committee Responsible Growth Arkansas and was vetted by a consortium of industry stakeholders, committee chair Eddie Armstrong said Tuesday.

Arkansas voters approved Amendment 98, the constitutional change that legalized cannabis for medical use, in 2016, and the first dispensaries in the state opened in 2019.

Under the proposed amendment, the state Alcoholic Beverage Control division would issue adult use cultivation and dispensary licenses to entities that already hold licenses under Amendment 98 before issuing additional adult use licenses, capping the total number of dispensary licenses at 120 and the total number of cultivation licenses at 20.

"We took a look at how could this be done in a meaningful and well-regulated way for Arkansans," Armstrong said.

The other proposed recreational marijuana amendments are the Arkansas Marijuana Amendment of 2022, which would allow for a number of cannabis businesses proportional to the state's population, and the Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Amendment, which would not put a cap on the number of cannabis businesses in the state.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for the full story.

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