People in Arkansas love smoking weed. The state’s medical cannabis sales reached $23.3 million in July, which is up from June’s $22 million, according to Health Department data, reported by local news station 5News.
Scott Hardin, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, told 5News that the people of Arkansas spent an average of $751,720 per day on medical marijuana in July. Since January 1, however, patients in the state have spent a total of $157.9 million on 27,782 pounds from the state’s 38 legal dispensaries.
Ganjapreneur points out that the dispensaries in Arkansas which sold the most cannabis are: Natural Relief Dispensary in Sherwood led the pack with 392.64 pounds sold; ReLeaf Center in Bentonville sold 308.61 pounds; CROP in Jonesboro sold 281.83 pounds; Suite 443 in Hot Springs sold 281.08 pounds; and Green Springs Medical in Hot Springs sold 217.77 pounds of weed.
While Arkansans love cannabis and state sales are climbing, an adult-use measure that once looked likely is not in the cards anymore. At the top of August, activist group Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted enough signatures to put an adult-use legalization question on November ballots. The state Board of Election Commissioners rejected the initiative, however, claiming it didn’t adequately explain the constitutional amendment and that the measure would repeal the state’s current THC limit on medical cannabis products. This decision by the board eliminated the opportunity for Arkansans to vote on legalizing cannabis.
The campaign filed a lawsuit against the state Supreme Court challenging that decision, saying commissioners used an “overly stringent” approach, ultimately violating the state constitution. The lawsuit also challenges a law put into effect in 2019 that gave the board the power to certify ballot initiatives. Prior to that law, ballot measures had to be reviewed by the state attorney general prior to the circulation of petitions.
Earlier this week a separate lawsuit was filed that could ruin the state’s medical cannabis industry. The lawsuit seeks to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act — also known as RICO — to target medical cannabis companies plaintiffs accused of deceptive trade practices. The lawsuit claims some medical cannabis was sold in Arkansas with a potency different than what was advertised – a deceptive trade practice – and that cannabis businesses are subject to RICO because cannabis is federally outlawed.