A campaign chaired by a former Arkansas lawmaker has filed a constitutional amendment to put marijuana legalization on the state’s 2022 ballot—and it’s facing pushback from advocates who are working on two separate reform initiatives. Eddie Armstrong, a Democrat who previously served as minority leader in the state House of Representatives before leaving office in 2019, first unveiled the plan to pursue legalization through the ballot late last year. Now that Armstrong’s group Responsible Growth Arkansas has formally filed the measure, its details are available. The Arkansas Adult-Use Cannabis Amendment would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Existing medical cannabis dispensaries would be permitted to sell in the recreational market starting March 8, 2023, giving them an advantage. Under the proposal, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) would be responsible for regulating the market and issuing marijuana business licenses. There would be a two-tiered approach to cultivator licensing, with the first tier being reserved for eight existing dispensaries and the second tier going to 12 other applicants through a lottery system. The measure would also repeal and replace certain provisions of the state’s medical marijuana law, which was approved by voters at the ballot in 2016. Language would be updated for rules on advertising, packaging, labeling, and purchase limits.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 01/27/2022 10:27:00