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Arkansas Marijuana FAQs

Is recreational marijuana legal in Arkansas?

Recreational marijuana is illegal in Arkansas, and the state has some of the harshest laws in the nation. Possessing less than four ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, and a fine of up to $2,500. Possessing or selling more than 4 ounces is considered a felony, punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 6 years of incarceration.

Arkansas did legalize medical marijuana in 2016 however, allowing licensed patients safe access to medical marijuana products purchased from certified dispensaries.

How do I qualify for a medical cannabis license?

To qualify for a registry card for medical marijuana, you must:

Medical Marijuana Requirements

  • Be 18 years of age or older or be a minor patient with parental consent.
  • Be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition – click here to see a list of qualifying medical conditions.
  • Have the official written certification from a physician.
  • Be an Arkansas resident with proof of residency. (AR Driver’s License or AR State ID card).
  • State law prohibits members of Arkansas National Guard and United States Military from obtaining a registry ID card.

Where can I consume cannabis in Arkansas?

Medical cannabis must be consumed in a private residence of a medical marijuana patient only. Using medical cannabis is prohibited in any public place where an individual could reasonably be expected to be observed by others (a public place includes all parts of buildings owned in a whole or in part, or leased, by the state or local unit of government).

Can I petition to have my condition included on the list?

Yes. You can find information on the process to petition here.

Do I need to be 18 years old to obtain my medical marijuana card in Arkansas?

No. Patients under 18 can apply with the consent of a parent/guardian. Additionally, parents/guardians will have to become a designated caregiver to purchase cannabis for the patient. The Arkansas Department of Health notes, “Parents or legal guardians of a minor with a qualifying condition are not required to complete Criminal History Check. Parent or guardian will still register as a caregiver and pay the registry card application fee,” which is $50.

Where can I buy medical marijuana in Arkansas?

Patients can only obtain cannabis from a licensed Arkansas dispensary. You’ll find a directory of the state’s dispensaries here.

How much medical marijuana can I purchase?

Qualified registered patients are allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces from a dispensary every 14 days.

Can a license holder grow their own medical marijuana?

Arkansas does not allow medical cannabis patients to cultivate their own marijuana. All cannabis products must be obtained from a licensed dispensary.

What kind of medical cannabis products can I buy in Arkansas?

Cannabis can be purchased as flower, edibles (including baked goods), concentrates and transdermal products from a medical dispensary.

Can I become a caregiver in Arkansas?

Yes, caregivers are allowed under Arkansas medical marijuana laws. Caregivers must be 21 years of age or older and the only patients who qualify for caregivers are minors and those that are physically disabled. Other restrictions apply, please visit the “Caregiver” section of the PotGuide Arkansas legal page for more information.

I am from out of state, will Arkansas honor my medical marijuana card?

Patients with a medical marijuana registration from another state may apply for a temporary approval to purchase at Arkansas medical dispensaries. There is a non-refundable $50 application fee. If approved, the patient can purchase for a 30-day period, per application. Applications can be completed here.

Common questions about marijuana in Arkansas . Where to buy medical cannabis, how much marijuana can you buy, and where you can consume cannabis in Arkansas, including Little Rocks. Plus, many more questions answered about weed in Arkansas.

LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS

Arkansas

Is weed legal in Arkansas?

Adult-use cannabis is prohibited in Arkansas, though patients with qualifying conditions and their doctors’ approval may consume medical marijuana.

In 2020, the Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Initiative failed to receive enough signatures to appear on the general election ballot. If passed, the initiative would have legalized marijuana use in Arkansas for adults age 21 and over. The measure may be revisited in the 2022 election cycle.

Legislation history

Prior to Arkansas’ legalization of medical cannabis, the city of Eureka Springs passed a voter initiative in 2006 to make marijuana crime enforcement a low priority. Fayetteville passed a similar voter initiative in 2007.

Arkansas voters approved the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (AMMA), or Issue 6, with 53% of the vote on Nov. 8, 2016. The law allows seriously ill patients to obtain and consume medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval and establishes licenses for state cultivation facilities and dispensaries.

Regulation authority

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) issues medical marijuana ID cards for patients and caregivers. The state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division regulates dispensaries and has issued regulations for dispensing and cultivation. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has also been created under the AMMA to regulate licensing of dispensaries and cultivation facilities and support the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division in implementing regulations.

Where is it safe to purchase weed in Arkansas?

All medical marijuana products must be purchased through medical marijuana dispensaries registered with the state. Patients must show their medical marijuana ID card to purchase from a dispensary. Caregivers are allowed to purchase medical marijuana for their designated patient, provided they show their designated caregiver registry card.

Finding licensed dispensaries in Arkansas

Medical marijuana cardholders can find licensed dispensaries in Arkansas and search by major metro areas including Hot Springs, Jonesboro, and Little Rock. Many dispensaries in Arkansas offer delivery and curbside pickup services in addition to storefront sales.

Where is it safe to consume weed in Arkansas?

Arkansas patients may consume medical marijuana only in their homes. Consumption in public is not allowed.

Possession and cultivation limits

No patient or caregiver cultivation is allowed.

Patients and caregivers may purchase up to 2.5 ounces, or 70.87 grams, of medical cannabis every 14 days from one state-approved dispensary. There are restrictions for pain patients, but the ADH can add new conditions for eligibility. All medical marijuana used by qualifying patients in Arkansas must be grown and treated inside state boundaries.

Recreational possession is illegal. Possession of less than 4 ounces, or 113.4 grams, of marijuana on a first offense is a misdemeanor that comes with up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Cultivation is prosecuted as either simple possession or possession with intent to deliver, depending on the amount of marijuana being produced. Possession of less than 14 grams, or half an ounce, is a misdemeanor that carries a possible jail sentence of up to one year and a $2,500 fine. More than 14 grams is considered a felony with penalties depending on the quantity. Any amount greater than 4 ounces carries a mandatory minimum three-year prison term and $10,000 fine.

Medical marijuana program

Qualifying conditions

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Intractable pain, defined as pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment, or surgical measures for more than six months
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe arthritis
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
  • Severe nausea
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the ADH

Patients suffering from medical conditions that aren’t on the list may file a petition with the ADH to receive access to medical marijuana.

Application process

Prospective medical marijuana patients in Arkansas can register with the ADH online . Both patients and caregivers must pay a $50, non-refundable fee. Caregivers must also pay $37 for a background check. If the caregiver is the legal guardian or parent of a patient who is a minor, the caregiver is not required to undergo a background check or pay the $37 fee.

To qualify, patients must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older (minors may qualify with parental consent)
  • Be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition
  • Have official written certification from a physician (physicians must certify patients by filling out and signing the ADH-approved certification form)
  • Show proof of Arkansas residency

Members of the Arkansas National Guard and United States Military do not qualify for medical marijuana.

Reciprocity

Arkansas allows medical marijuana patients with valid recommendations from other states to access medical marijuana provided they fill out a visiting patient form and provide proof of out-of-state registration.

Lab testing

The ADH requires cannabis in the state to be tested by an analytical testing laboratory for the following:

  • Microbiological contaminants
  • Solvents
  • Water activity and moisture content
  • Cannabinoid concentrations (CBD and THC)
  • Heavy Metals

Licensing for dispensaries and cultivators

All dispensary applicants must pay a $15,000 application fee, half of which will be refunded to unsuccessful applicants. After applying for a license to sell medical cannabis in the state of Arkansas, applicants must also pay a $15,000 license fee and carry a $100,000 performance bond. Cultivators who are awarded a license must pay a $100,000 license fee and carry a $500,000 performance bond.

CBD and hemp rules in Arkansas

After the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill , which legalized hemp (cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) and allowed for its cultivation and distribution as an agricultural product, the Arkansas legislature also passed HB 1518 , which decriminalized hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD). As a result, hemp-derived CBD is regulated within the state’s medical marijuana program.

This page was last updated on September 14, 2020.

View the marijuana laws & regulations for Arkansas.