The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a decision made by the State Board of Election Commissioners, paving the way for legal recreational marijuana to be included on the November general election ballot.
The court has granted the petition made by Responsible Growth Arkansas, which sought to vacate the determination of the State Board of Election Commissioners and the Secretary of State. Their determination was to not certify the ballot for a proposed constitutional amendment authorizing the adult possession and use of cannabis.
“Petitioners argue that the ballot title is sufficient under this court’s precedent and that Arkansas Code Annotated section 7-9-111’s ballot-title certification process is unconstitutional. We grant the petition,” court documents stated. “...Accordingly, we grant the petition and order the Secretary of State to certify the proposed amendment for inclusion on the November 8, 2022 general election ballot. We order the mandate to issue within five days of this opinion unless a petition for rehearing is filed.”
Supreme Court justices Shawn Womack and Barbara Webb concurred in part while dissenting in part with the decision.
The initiative limits the sale of cannabis to people 21 or older and prohibits advertising and packaging designed to appeal to children. It provides regulatory oversight by limiting the number of licensed businesses, and does not allow for homegrown cannabis.
It also limits the number of cannabis licenses to 20 cultivators and 120 dispensaries statewide, which includes existing medical marijuana licenses.