Conservative Republican-leaning states like Kansas and Arkansas are now experiencing progress, albeit slow, regarding adult-use medical marijuana access after finding difficulties in passing any marijuana legislation.
Recently, thanks to rising support for cannabis legalization in these states, new bills to legalize adult-use medical marijuana have been introduced. Now, both states are progressing concerning to access to cannabis.
Progress In Arkansas
Currently, Arkansas sees home growing as outlawed. However, medical marijuana access is legal. In November, Arkansas saw the rejection of an industry-funded legalization measure, but now, Republican State Senate Joshua Bryant has introduced a bill that is expected to effectively amend the state constitution, and possibly lead to the legalization of adult-use possession and home cultivation.
For now, it is still unknown whether or not the bill will be passed. It is also unclear whether or not it will be signed into law by Governor Sarah Huckabee.
Currently, the 2022 State of States report, has commended those involved for increasing access to medical cannabis. They also commended related parties for allowing doctors to recommend medical cannabis through telemedicine visits. It is hoped that with increased access, medical marijuana patients in Arkansas will spend more at dispensaries. In 2022, they spent $276.3 million at the state’s dispensaries. It is also hoped that more patients will be able to register for access, making 2022’s number of 90 000 patients rise.
Should the state’s existing medical marijuana law be amended completely, adults can purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries. These dispensaries would be granted permission to sell for adult use, and with this, the number of authorized licensed dispensaries would expand to 120. Online sources report, “[a]lso, the permitted eight cultivation licenses would increase to 12.” According to this online source, this would also see the end of the sales tax on medical marijuana and the replacement of this with a sales tax of up to 10%. Some tax revenue would be set aside for a yearly stipend for law enforcement officers. “Tax revenue would also be directed to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and drug court programs and the state’s general revenue.”
Progress In Kansas
Kansas still remains one of the few states not to have comprehensive medical cannabis law. During the 2022 legislative session, many efforts to legalize medical cannabis in the state failed. Furthermore, a medical cannabis proposal was stalled along with a House-Passed bill which fell short in terms of gaining traction.
Kansas is currently still without medical or adult-use access even though 68% of local voters are actually in favor of medical marijuana. Until now, with new marijuana reform bills being introduced into State Legislature.
According to news reports, Senate Bill 171, one of the measures, will allow military veterans to gain access to cannabis. Another measure, House Bill 2363, will promptly remove penalties regarding marijuana possession and expunge previous criminal records.
On a positive note, Governor Laura Kelly offered her signature on overdue legislation legalizing medical cannabis; however, she is allegedly waiting for the documentation to arrive.
Should State Legislation permit medical practitioners and doctors to recommend cannabis, then those suffering from chronic pain and other specific conditions would find a treatment that could better assist them in healing than traditional medicine.
When it comes to Kansas and Arkansas, adult-use access to medical marijuana is in progress. However, progress remains slow. More updates to follow as more information becomes available.
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