Arkansas voters are set to see a marijuana legalization measure on the November ballot after activists collect more than double the required signatures to qualify.
Responsible Growth Arkansas submitted just over 190,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office in order to qualify the measure. Only 89,151 valid signatures are required to qualify for ballot placement.
If it is approved, adults 21 and older will be able to purchase and possess up to an ounce of cannabis from licensed retailers.
According to Marijuana Moment, Steve Lancaster, a spokesperson for the campaign, said that the sheer volume of signatures that activists were able to collect and the results of their independent review of the validity of those petitions, give them confidence that “we’re going to be well in excess of what we need to get on the ballot—so we’re very excited about that.”
“Assuming we get to the ballot, and we’re confident on that, I think, come November, we’ll pass this thing,” Lancaster said.
The state of AR has a limited amount of time (two weeks) to check the validity of signatures. If the campaign submits at least 75% of the valid signatures, they will be given an extension for an additional 30 days to submit the rest.
The Responsible Growth Arkansas proposal would legalize cannabis for adults aged 21 and older, while the state’s medical cannabis law would increase the number of cultivators in the state from 8 to 20 and dispensaries from 40 to 120.
Additionally, if approved, the state’s medical cannabis tax would be abolished, but the same tax rates — 6.50% sales tax and 4% excise duty — would apply to adult-use sales.
However, this plan will not allow Arkansas to cultivate its own cannabis.