Is marijuana legal in Arkansas? Following federal law, the state is still very strict with recreational marijuana use. Various initiatives have failed, including a recent attempt at adult-use legislation in 2022. But one thing is clear: there’s no turning back on medical use. 


What does the marijuana law say in the Natural State? Keep reading for insights into the marijuana legislation in Arkansas. We explore consumption, cultivation, possession, and more.

is weed legal in Arkansas

History of cannabis legalization in Arkansas

Marijuana was first banned in the Natural State in 1923. The Arkansas marijuana laws haven’t changed on recreational use, but the medical community has seen significant strides.


It all started in 2012, when the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act (Issue 5) qualified for the ballot box.


It was supposed to allow non-profit organizations to grow and sell medical marijuana. It also aimed to let patients living more than five miles from a legal dispensary to grow a few plants. Some voters didn’t like the idea, and the act failed in the ballot box by only a few percent.


Arkansans changed their views after a few years. Voters passed the Medical Marijuana Amendment (Issue 6) in 2016. This legislation made medical cannabis legal for registered patients.


The state legalization listed several eligible health conditions:


  • Crohn’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Hepatitis C
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia
  • Glaucoma
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Peripherals neuropathy
  • Chronic nausea


All patients required a mandatory doctor’s letter. They could possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis. There was no mention of cultivating the plant at home.


House Bill 1026 came next. It established a medical marijuana commission that dealt with issuing licenses to processors, growers, and dispensaries.


Licensed sales officially began in May 2019. The state originally licensed 32 dispensaries and five cultivators.


The Supreme Court of Arkansas approved Marijuana Legalization Initiative (Issue 4) in 2022. It was about decriminalizing recreational marijuana. The act failed with 44% of the vote on November 8, 2022.


Is marijuana legal in Arkansas in 2023? Not yet, but another proposed marijuana amendment could change that.


SJR13 aims to legalize recreational use, home growing, and use for craft. It’s awaiting approval by the Senators and the House of Representatives.

marijuana laws in arkansas

What are the Arkansas marijuana laws?

In Arkansas, weed is legal for medical purposes but banned for recreational use.


Residents must be 18 years or older to use medical marijuana. Qualifying minors need a parent or guardian to file their application. They should also monitor their use.


Patients can’t use medical weed at work or on private property if the owner doesn’t allow it. It’s a prohibition for the U.S. Army and National Guard members posted in the state to apply for medical weed.


Let’s look at a breakdown of the laws involved when you carry, use, grow, or buy weed.



Medical marijuana users may purchase up to 2.5 ounces per 14-day period. Products must be bought from licensed state dispensaries.


Possession without a doctor’s recommendation can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Offenders get a sentence and a fine, depending on the amount found.


The Arkansas marijuana laws stipulate the following possession charges:


  • Less than 4 ounces: Class A misdemeanor, with up to one year imprisonment and a $2,500 fine.
  • More than 4 ounces but less than 10 pounds: Class D felony, six years of jail time, and a $10,000 fine. 
  • Between 10–25 pounds: Class C felony, which includes up to 10 years in jail and a fine of not more than $10,000.
  • Between 25–100 pounds: Class B felony. Expect a mandatory 5–20 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $15,000.
  • Between 100–500 pounds: Class A felony under Arkansas weed laws. Offenders get six years of mandatory jail time and another possible 30 years with a fine of not more than $15,000.



Consumption of recreational marijuana isn’t legal in Arkansas. You can only use marijuana if you have a letter from a doctor. All activities must be done on private property.


Public consumption is illegal, including sidewalks, streets, parks, and in vehicles. You can’t consume cannabis where there’s a possibility of impairing someone who’s not a registered user.


Food and beverages mixed with medical weed must have less than 10 mg of THC and a label indicating that. Arkansas dispensary rules state that licensed retailers should create advertisements that aren’t attractive to children. This rule also includes the wrappings.


Weed is still illegal under federal law, so you can’t use it in certain government buildings. These include blocks with members of the U.S. military or National Guard. You also can’t use weed near minors or pregnant women. It doesn’t matter if it’s medical weed.



Cultivating seeds with THC or CBD is illegal for medical and recreational users. Only licensed growers can cultivate cannabis plants under the medical cannabis program. There are only a handful of licenses available, as the process is tightly regulated.


Individuals caught cultivating cannabis illegally can face serious consequences. 

growing cannabis from seeds in arkansas

Restrictions and limits

Medical pot is legal in Arkansas, but there are restrictions on possession and use. Let’s explore them below.


How many grams of weed can I possess in Arkansas?

A registered caregiver or patient can buy up to 2.5 ounces every 14 days from a licensed medical dispensary.


A patient visiting the state can send an application with a $50 non-refundable charge. The letter grants them 90 days to purchase THC and CBD content strains.


Can I grow cannabis in Arkansas?

No. It’s illegal to grow cannabis plants at home in Arkansas. The state only permits a few licensed cultivators under the medical program.


For now, you can buy cannabis seeds in Arkansas and keep them as souvenirs until the law changes. There are no rules against possessing non-germinated seeds.


Is recreational marijuana legal in Arkansas?

Arkansas hasn’t legalized recreational marijuana. The federal law is very serious about marijuana use, and so is Arkansas.

Where can I buy cannabis seeds legally in Arkansas?

Buying cannabis seeds is legal as long as you don’t plan on germinating or growing them. Keep them as souvenirs until the Arkansas cannabis laws have a different view on at-home cultivation.


Get cannabis seeds from a trusted source like Seed Supreme. Our seed bank features high-quality cannabis seeds to make your cultivation journey smooth. Enjoy discreet delivery and a seamless ordering process.


Key takeaways

The 2016 amendment was a huge win for medical patients in Arkansas. It made weed legal for a number of debilitating conditions.


We hope voters change their views in the next election on recreational weed. Many states have already legalized adult-use weed. It shouldn’t take long for the Natural State to follow suit.


Stay tuned to Seed Supreme for the latest updates on the weed laws in Arkansas.


Frequently asked questions

Do you have more questions about cannabis use in Arkansas? Check out our answers to the most common queries below.


Why is weed so expensive in Arkansas?

There are several reasons weed is expensive in Arkansas. These include insufficient dispensaries and cultivation facilities, as well as high taxes.


Can I buy edibles in Arkansas?

Yes, you can buy edibles at any licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Arkansas. Edible marijuana is legal in Arkansas, including chocolate and gummies.

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