Arkansas Marijuana Laws

6 min read

Arkansas Marijuana Laws

March 6, 2023

The history of marijuana laws in Arkansas dates back to the early 20th century. In 1923, Arkansas became one of the first states in the country to criminalize the possession and use of marijuana. This law made possession of even small amounts of marijuana a felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison. The state’s strict stance on marijuana continued for decades, with little change in the law until the 21st century.

In 2016, voters in Arkansas approved a ballot initiative legalizing the medical use of marijuana in the state. This marked a significant shift in the state’s marijuana policy, allowing individuals with certain medical conditions to legally obtain and consume marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. Since then, the state has established a highly regulated medical marijuana program, with limited dispensaries authorized to sell medical marijuana. 

However, like most states, Arkansas imposes less severe penalties for marijuana-related offenses compared to those involving other illicit substances like heroin or methamphetamines. While the recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Arkansas, the state’s medical marijuana program has provided a path for some individuals to access the drug legally for the first time in decades. 

Who Can Purchase Marijuana in Arkansas?  

In Arkansas, only individuals with certain medical conditions can legally purchase and use marijuana. To qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program, a patient must be diagnosed with one of the qualifying medical conditions specified by the Arkansas Department of Health.  

Once certified, patients can apply for a medical marijuana card from the Arkansas Department of Health. With a valid card, patients can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days from one of the state’s authorized dispensaries. However, it is important to note that the use of marijuana for recreational purposes remains illegal in Arkansas, and possession or sale of marijuana outside of the state’s medical program can result in significant legal consequences. 

Where Can I Use Marijuana in Arkansas?   

Under Arkansas law, marijuana can only be consumed on private property. Consumption of marijuana in public places, including streets, sidewalks, parks, or in a vehicle, is illegal and can result in fines and other legal consequences. 

In addition, property owners and landlords have the right to prohibit the use of marijuana on their premises. Therefore, it is important for medical marijuana patients to obtain permission from property owners before using marijuana on private property. Overall, it is crucial to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding the use of marijuana in Arkansas and to use it responsibly and within the guidelines of the state’s medical marijuana program.

Growing Marijuana in Arkansas

Growing marijuana in Arkansas is only legal for licensed medical marijuana cultivators. Under the state’s medical marijuana program, only a limited number of licenses are available for cultivation facilities, and the application process is highly regulated.

Individuals who are not licensed to cultivate medical marijuana in Arkansas may face significant legal consequences if caught growing marijuana. Possession of fewer than four ounces of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Possession of more than four ounces is considered a felony offense and can result in much harsher penalties, including imprisonment for up to six years and fines of up to $10,000.

Therefore, one needs to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding the cultivation of marijuana in Arkansas and obtain the necessary licenses and permits before growing the plant. Individuals interested in cultivating medical marijuana in the state should consult with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission to get more information about the application process and requirements.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Arkansas. The state’s Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws include both alcohol and drugs, including marijuana.

In Arkansas, a driver is considered under the influence of marijuana if their THC blood concentration level is above the legal limit of 5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). If a driver is found to be driving under the influence of marijuana, they might face significant legal consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and the loss of driving privileges.

For a first-time offense of driving under the influence of marijuana, an individual may face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, their driver’s license may be suspended for six months. Subsequent offenses can result in even harsher penalties, including longer jail sentences, higher fines, and longer license suspensions.

Overall, it is crucial never to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana in Arkansas and to be aware of the state’s DUI laws and regulations.

Tax Regulations in Arkansas

Arkansas patients are required to pay a 6.50% sales tax on every purchase of medical marijuana. There is also an additional excise tax of 4% on every purchase of medical marijuana. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration collects the tax.

The revenue generated from the medical marijuana tax is used to fund various programs in the state, including the medical marijuana program itself, vocational and technical education programs, workforce training programs, and the state’s general revenue fund.

It is essential for medical marijuana patients and dispensaries to be aware of the state’s tax regulations and to ensure that they are correctly reporting and paying the required taxes. Failure to comply with the state’s tax regulations can result in significant fines and legal consequences.

Overall, the tax on medical marijuana in Arkansas is an essential source of revenue for the state. It is crucial for all individuals and businesses involved in the medical marijuana industry to comply with the state’s tax laws and regulations. 

Advertising and Labeling Laws

In Arkansas, medical marijuana products must be labeled with the following information:

  • The product’s name, including the strain if applicable;
  • The name and contact information of the dispensary or cultivator that produced the product;
  • The product’s batch number and the date it was harvested and packaged;
  • The product’s weight or volume;
  • The concentration of THC and CBD in the product;
  • Any other ingredients or additives in the product;
  • Clear warnings about the potential risks and side effects of using the product, including any known drug interactions and the potential for impairment while operating heavy machinery or driving

There are also restrictions on advertising medical marijuana products in Arkansas. Specifically, advertising cannot be targeted toward minors, cannot make false or misleading claims, and cannot be placed in areas where people under the age of 21 can see it. Advertising must also include a statement indicating that the product is for medical use only and that it is illegal to resell or transfer the product to someone else.

It’s important to note that laws related to marijuana advertising and labeling may be subject to change over time. Therefore, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest regulations in your area if you are involved in the production, distribution, or sale of marijuana products.


In conclusion, marijuana laws in Arkansas are regulated and enforced by the state’s government and law enforcement agencies. The use of marijuana in the state is limited to individuals with qualifying medical conditions under the state’s medical marijuana program, and even for medical marijuana patients, there are restrictions on where and how much marijuana can be consumed. 

Overall, it is important for all individuals and businesses involved in the medical marijuana industry in Arkansas to comply with the state’s laws and regulations to avoid legal consequences and ensure the safe and responsible use of marijuana in the state.