Arkansas Finance Department Shows Medical Cannabis Program Growth

in Culture

A new report from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) shares a variety of facts about the state’s medical cannabis program, which launched in May 2019.

According to the Arkansas Advocate, dozens of storefronts have opened over the past five years, and an estimated 102,000 medical cannabis patient cardholders have approved.

In total sales, medical cannabis has generated $1.1 billion since 2019 but for this year alone, the state collected approximately $68 million (between January through March), and just $45 million between February and March.

The report shows that $31.32 million was collected in medical cannabis annual revenue in 2019, which jumped to $181.8 million in 2020, $264.9 million in 2021, $276.3 million in 2022, and finally $282 million in 2023.

Although sales reported in 2024 so far (approximately $2 million less than in 2023), there has been an increase in products sold, with 13,804 sold in 2023 and 17,240 in 2024 so far. This noteworthy observation, according to Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesperson Scott Hardin. “That’s a reflection of the more competitive pricing, which is great news for patients,” Hardin said.

An estimated $127 million in cannabis tax revenue has been collected over the past five years (approximately $5 million came from February and March 2024 alone). The law sets aside 4% of cannabis taxes to help provide meals for students who are on free or reduced lunch programs. The amount of cannabis products in pounds has steadily increased over time as well with 4,735 pounds sold in 2019, 28,021 in 2020, 40,347 in 2021, 50,547 in 2022, and 62,227 in 2023.

When medical cannabis sales first began in 2019, only 11,000 patients were approved cardholders. One year later, cardholder numbers increased to approximately 43,000, and finally the most recent cardholder number has surpassed 102,000. “The pace of it has varied, but the fact that we’ve consistently increased to where we are today with more than 100,000—it’s going to be interesting to see going forward if that continues over the next couple …

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Author: Nicole Potter / High Times

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