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Arkansas Cannabis Legalization Ballot Struck Down Despite Securing More Than Enough Signatures — Here’s Why

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By Jelena Martinovic

A proposed measure to legalize recreational cannabis in Arkansas was blocked from appearing on the state’s ballot this November. The State Board of Election Commissioners rejected the ballot title and popular name of the proposition after receiving enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, reported Associated Press.

The commissioner rejected the measure on the grounds that the ballot title is not clear enough when it comes to the impact of the amendment, citing the issue of the level of THC allowed in edible marijuana products.

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“If I’m a voter, I might be all for this, but I’d like to safeguard that edible limit,” Commissioner J. Harmon Smith said.

Under the proposed amendment, people aged 21 and older could legally possess up to an ounce of cannabis, while state-licensed dispensaries would be approved to sell recreational marijuana.

Eddie Armstrong, former Arkansas Democratic House minority leader and head of the activists’ group Responsible Growth Arkansas, submitted the petitions to the secretary of state’s office last month. He said recently that they’d collected more than twice the number of signatures needed to qualify the proposal for this year’s general election.

“Because of the time frame to get this done, they stopped at 90,000 verified signatures and now have moved on to the casino petition,” Kevin Niehaus, a spokesman for the Arkansas secretary of state’s office, said. “Knowing how many signatures they still had left to go and with it already reaching 90,000 signatures, they felt comfortable saying they made it.”

In July, the activists filed petitions containing 192,828 voter signatures supporting the marijuana legalization amendment.

What’s Next?

Responsible Growth Arkansas’ attorney Steve Lancaster plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

“The type of detail that the board expected, or demanded in this case, would make our ballot title thousands and thousands of words long,” Lancaster told reporters following the vote. “That just simply is not workable for a ballot.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.



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2022 Adult-use ballot Initiative

Arkansas Supreme Court issues provisional order placing recreational marijuana amendment back on ballot – Cannabis Business Executive

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Arkansas Supreme Court issues provisional order placing recreational marijuana amendment back on ballot – Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news




























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Arkansas

Federal Lawsuit In Arkansas Considering RICO Act: Is This The End Of Medical Marijuana In The State?

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By Nicolás Jose Rodriguez

On August 4, a proposed initiative to legalize recreational marijuana was turned down by the State Board of Election Commissioners. The commissioners dismissed the amendment, with one of the main issues being the level of THC allowed in cannabis edibles. Now, THC levels are generating a new controversy over medical marijuana.

A federal lawsuit filed on July 12 in Little Rock, is now looking to use federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes, which were created to target organized crime. Arkansas is seeking to use RICO to go after medical marijuana suppliers in the state that allegedly sold cannabis with lower-than-advertised potency.

RELATED: Here’s Why Arkansas Gov. Opposes Legalizing Weed

Pete Edwards, Don Plumlee and Jakie Hanan, the plaintiffs, argue that at some point they bought medical marijuana that had THC 25% lower than what was advertised, and, asked to be ruled a class action, reported wreg.com

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In addition, the plaintiffs argued that the marijuana business is subject to the federal RICO Act since large-scale marijuana production and sale is illegal under federal law.

“If successful, it could ultimately impact accessibility to medical marijuana in the state,” reported local media.

RELATED: Medical Cannabis Businesses In Arkansas Sued For Inflating THC Levels

The lawsuit names California-based marijuana testing service Steep Hill, Inc. and its Arkansas subsidiary, Steep Hill Arkansas, the co-owners of Steep Hill Arkansas, Dr. Brandon Thorton and Brent Whittington, Osage Creek Cultivation, Bold Team LLC, and Natural State Medicinal.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.



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The Roll-up #249: Contemplating the universe with cannabis

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In this episode: A green wave is coming this November, Washington DC legalizes quietly, NASA releases space thirst traps, and are cannabis drinks here to stay? 

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The Roll-Up: Leafly’s weekly cannabis news and culture podcast

Every Friday the Roll-Up crew—Bruce Barcott, Alyssa Yeoman, and Hannah Staton—dissect the week’s top cannabis stories and take a deep dive into a single issue. It’s a news and culture podcast, slightly elevated.

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