Report: Arkansas’ medical cannabis sales reach 60,000 pounds

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Figures recently published by the state Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) have revealed that Arkansans forked out $30 million for medical cannabis within the past month. 

As a direct effect of this, the state’s total sales surpassed 60,000 pounds for the month of October. The month prior, Arkansans spent $30 million on 4,768 pounds of cannabis. 

In comparison with sales figures from August, the amount of medicinal cannabis purchased by Arkansans in September was 844 pounds less. However, state residents did spend $3.5 million more on cannabis in September.

Rising sales figures are contributing to increased tax income on cannabis products which, consequently, is assisting local governments, communities and the economy as a whole.

In fact, since 2019, $49.6 million has been generated by the two state sales taxes that are imposed on medical cannabis in Arkansas a 6.5 percent state sales tax and a four percent privilege tax. 

What’s more, since January 1, 2021, sales tax revenue has earned the state $25 million.

37 dispensaries are currently in operation across Arkansas

At the current time, 57 dispensaries are operating in the state of Arkansas. This number is expected to continue growing as time progresses.

State data shows that 19 dispensaries have sold a minimum of 1,000 pounds of medical cannabis since they initially opened their doors.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the top-performing medical cannabis dispensaries in Arkansas:

  • Spring River Dispensary – Located in Hardy, this dispensary shifted 75.75 pounds of medical cannabis during the month of September. The store has recorded 579.27 pounds worth of cannabis sales since opening in January 2021.
  • Fiddler’s Green – Based in Mountain View, this dispensary sold 100.98 pounds of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in September. The store has recorded 2,689.42 pounds worth of cannabis sales since opening in July 2019.
  • Plant Family Therapeutics – This Mountain Home dispensary sold 209.76 pounds of cannabis in September. Since the store first began serving customers in February 2020, it has sold 3,638.63 pounds of medical cannabis.

A report by the Arkansas Department of Health confirms that 78,425 active medical cannabis cards have been distributed among patients so far. That is 995 less than the number of cardholders reported in September.

Arkansas attorney warns public about potential dangers of cannabis edibles

In related industry news, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has issued a public warning about the prospective dangers of cannabis edibles and hemp-derived goods being sold in packaging that mimics candy and snack packets.

The relevance of AG Rutledge’s announcement cannot be overlooked, considering the fact that Halloween was recently celebrated and therefore children would have been seeking out candy/snacks during their “trick-or-treat” adventures.

She noted that such products are widely unregulated and are unlikely to be legal. Due to the lack of regulation, there’s a high probability that cannabis edibles and hemp-derived goods in Arkansas may be dangerous for consumers. 

In particular, AG Rutledge drew attention to the fact that parents should safeguard their children from being exposed to appealingly-packaged goods that contain high levels of the mind-altering substance delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

“The unregulated look-alike products are dangerous and marketed to kids and young adults and when consumed by a child can have 120 times the potency of the maximum legal adult serving,” said AG Rutledge. “If anyone sells these products to Arkansans, I will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law. If you see these look-alike products for sale, report them to my office immediately.”

A 2020 report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers put into perspective the sheer dangers of consuming cannabis that has been packaged misleadingly. During the first half of last year, approximately 2,622 hotline calls related to children ingesting cannabis-enriched products.