Arkansas AG: Medical marijuana expansion measure needs tweaks

The state attorney general had no issue with the substance of the measure, but identified several problems with the text.

A campaign in Arkansas to widely expand the state’s medical marijuana market via a new ballot measure hit a major roadblock this week when the state attorney general rejected a proposed name and ballot title of the initiative.

The ballot initiative – which would amend the state constitution to let more health care practitioners issue medical cannabis recommendations for a far broader range of ailments than currently allowed – has to be reworked and resubmitted before it can go to the voters in November, the Arkansas Times reported.

Attorney General Tim Griffin took issue with several technical aspects of the proposed measure, the Times reported, but not the substance, as the proposal is largely a rerun of the successful 2016 ballot measure that legalized medical cannabis.

Voters shot down a recreational legalization measure in 2022, however, which led activists to try for an expansion of the medical cannabis trade, which is limited to people with any of 18 specific medical ailments, such as cancer or epilepsy.

Griffin said the text of the initiative had several issues, including:

  • Wrongly including an “enacting clause” that could confuse voters.
  • A lack of clarity in several other sections about industry regulations.
  • Leaving out required legal language in some sections.
  • Using several terms that were not properly defined.

The campaign behind the measure, Arkansans for Patient Access, told the Times it planned to fix the issues Griffin identified and resubmit the initiative in time for the November election. A spokesperson for the campaign said it was “confident” the measure will go before voters.

John Schroyer

John Schroyer has been a reporter since 2006, initially with a focus on politics, and covered the 2012 Colorado campaign to legalize marijuana. He has written about the cannabis industry specifically since 2014, after being on hand for the first-ever legal cannabis sales on New Year’s Day that year in Denver. John has covered subsequent marijuana market launches in California and Illinois, has written about every aspect of the marijuana trade, and was part of the team that built the cannabis industry’s first-ever trade show, MJBizCon. He joined Green Market Report in 2022.

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