Arkansas Allocates $87 Million from Medical Cannabis Tax Revenues to Combat Food Insecurity

Arkansas Allocates $87 Million from Medical Cannabis Tax Revenues to Combat Food Insecurity

Arkansas is channeling $87 million from its medical cannabis tax revenues towards the fight against food insecurity. According to a report by KATV, the funds will be distributed to schools across the state, aimed at ensuring students have access to low-cost or free lunches.

The decision marks a significant departure from the original plan, which earmarked the funds to help the University of Arkansas Medical School obtain a National Cancer Center designation. While the shift in focus has raised questions, Medical Marijuana Commission spokesperson Scott Hardin emphasized the importance of addressing immediate social needs.

“…If someone is on a reduced school lunch, if they are now paying 50 cents to a dollar – that medical marijuana revenue steps in and pays that to ensure that a student gets that for free. So really students in the state will be not having to pay whatever that burden is. Fifty cents, a $1.50 to have reduced school lunch so it really is, it’s affecting Arkansans in a positive way,” explained Hardin to KATV.

The state has already collected a substantial $115 million from cannabis taxes since the launch of the medical cannabis program in 2016. Despite the change in allocation, this move reflects Arkansas’ commitment to addressing immediate social needs and leveraging the positive impact of medical cannabis tax revenues.

Since the inception of the medical cannabis program in 2016, sales have surpassed the $1 billion mark. State data reveals that, as of December 2, there are 98,011 active medical cannabis ID cards in Arkansas, highlighting the program’s widespread impact.

The decision to redirect funds underscores the evolving landscape of cannabis revenue allocation and the state’s responsiveness to pressing social challenges. Arkansas continues to navigate the delicate balance of fostering medical cannabis growth while strategically addressing the needs of its communities.

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