Arkansas Medical Marijuana Laws and Regulations

Issue 6

The bulk of the medical cannabis program in Arkansas was implemented by the voter led Issue 6.  Issue 6 as  it appeared on the ballot allowed for the legal use of medical cannabis under Arkansas law. It established a system for growing, acquiring and distributing medical cannabis while providing protections to patients and physicians. The amendment also created the Medical Marijuana Commission consisting of 5 members.


After voters approved Issue 6, there was a flurry of legislative activity to implement a medical cannabis program in Arkansas. Twenty-four bills were signed into law. 

Act 1: Integrates the provisions of Issue 6 into the Arkansas Constitution as Amendment 98

Act 4: Amends the dates for the Department of Health's Rulemaking. These rules have been published.

Act 5: Defines written certification as an assessment of a qualifying patients condition in the course of a physician-patient relationship and specifies that an application for an ID card is not considered a medical record. 

Act 438: Prohibits physicians from issuing certifications through telemedicine

Act 440: Designates that if cannabis, or a cannabis derived substance is rescheduled under federal law, Arkansas will consider the federal government's recommendation.

Act 479: Prevents members of the Arkansas National Guard and current members of the U.S. military residing in Arkansas from being patients or caregivers. 

Act 544: Amends the definition of what is an excluded felony offense under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment

Act 545: Requires criminal background checks for caregivers and applicants for dispensary and cultivation licenses

Act 587: Provides rules for temporary licensing and changes of control of dispensaries and cultivation facilities

Act 593: Creates protections for employees and prevents employers from taking adverse action against a patient or a caregiver solely for their status relating to medical cannabis. This bill still allows employers to create their own workplace drug policies. 

Act 594: Sets fees and expiration dates for ID cards for dispensary and cultivation agent facilities. 

Act 638: Creates and funds the Medical Marijuana Commission

Act 639: Allows for the collection o fines for the violation of Amendment 98 

Act 640: Requires rule-making for the oversight of dispensaries and creates restrictions on advertising

Act 641: Only allows a transfer of a dispensary license to a natural person

Act 642: Sets up licensing procedures for individuals who transport, distribute, or process cannabis

Act 670: Medical cannabis is subject to all state and local sales tax as other goods. Revenues generated shall be transferred to the Arkansas medical Marijuana Implementation and Operations Fund.

Act 740: Prohibits smoking in public places and other restrictions as to where individuals cannot use their medicine.

Act 906:- Creates appropriations for Arkansas Medical Cannabis Program

Act 948: Requires the reporting of qualifying patients and dispensing data to the Arkansas All-Payer Claims Data base

Act 1022: The importation of seeds, cuttings, clones or plants by a dispensary or cultivation facility shall not be prosecuted in state courts. This bill does not remove any authority from federal courts located in Arkansas 

Act 1023: Prohibits cannabis from being sold in vending machines and creates guidelines for restrictions on edibles and packaging. 

Act 1024: Requires dispensaries to make vaporizers available for patients

Act 1098: Allows for a 4% special privilege tax on medical cannabis. This tax is paid by the cultivation facility, dispensary, or other businesses.  

Act 1100: Establishes security requirements for cultivation facilities.




Rules and Regulations

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has adopted the following rules and regulations:

Application for, Issuance, and Renewal of Licenses For Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities and Dispensaries

Oversight of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities and Dispensaries by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division