is weed legal in arkansas

Is Weed Legal In Arkansas: Full Guide

Table of Contents

Arkansas, also known as th Natural State, is known for its stunning natural beauty, including the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, the Mississippi River, and numerous lakes, rivers, and parks. It is also famous for its rich history, with notable landmarks such as the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, where the desegregation crisis of 1957 took place. If you’re visiting Arkansas with the hoping of lighting up, you better read this guide first. 

Is Weed Legal in Arkansas? Straight to the point.

  • Recreational THC: No
  • Medical THC: Yes
  • CBD: Yes
  • Delta-8: Yes

Medical Weed Laws

Medical marijuana became legal in Arkansas on November 8th, 2016, after voters approved a measure known as the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. Individuals must be 18 years or older to be eligible for a medical marijuana card, unless they have a qualifying medical condition and have a written certification from two physicians, one of whom must be a pediatrician. Minors can be eligible for medical marijuana with parental consent. 

In order to obtain a medical marijuana card, individuals must be Arkansas residents and have a qualifying medical condition, such as but not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Severe arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Intractable pain which is pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment, or surgical measures for more than six months
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures including without limitation those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms including without limitation those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

Arkansas medical marijuana cardholders are able to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana every 14 days. To obtain a medical marijuana card, individuals must have a written certification from a licensed Arkansas physician, who must be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy and must have a valid Arkansas medical license. They must also complete an application with the Arkansas Department of Health and pay a fee.

Recreational Weed Laws

Trends show that many states with medical marijuana programs usually move towards adult-use recreational legalization. However, recreational weed’s regulatory environment tends to be far more complex. Although many states maintain their medical programs to support patients, the same rules do not apply to the general public once recreational marijuana is legalized. Possession limits may vary, as well as the consequences for using marijuana outside of the state-mandated guidelines. See below for more information about the current legal status and recreational legalization efforts.

Is Weed Decriminalized in Arkansas?

Marijuana has not been decriminalized in Arkansas. Possession of small amounts of marijuana is still considered a criminal offense and can result in fines and/or jail time. Although medical marijuana is legal in Arkansas, recreational use of marijuana remains illegal and is punishable under state law.

However, some cities in Arkansas, such as Little Rock, have implemented programs that allow for the issuance of citations instead of arrests for certain low-level marijuana offenses, such as possession of small amounts for personal use. These programs are meant to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system and to help individuals avoid the negative consequences that can come with a criminal conviction.

Cannabinoid Variants

The world of cannabis is rapidly evolving and new variants of the plant are being discovered every day. From the popular CBD to the well-known THC, there are now new players in the game such as Delta-8, Delta-10, THC-O, HHC, and HHC-O. These variants have gained popularity due to their unique properties and effects, making them appealing to a wider range of consumers. Below we will take a closer look at each of these variants, including their legal standing in Arkansas. 

Is CBD legal in Arkansas?

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in the United States. This legislation opened up vast possibilities for CBD-rich hemp to enter the mainstream market, allowing consumers to purchase CBD in retail establishments and online. CBD is often found in supplements, topicals, edibles, portable vape pens, home goods, and beauty and body care products. 

The Farm Bill legally protects CBD production, but it is not without stipulation. All commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, some states have elected to regulate CBD independently and may have further restrictions on its use. CBD is legal in Arkansas.

Is Delta-8 legal in Arkansas?

Delta-8 THC is a compound found in hemp that has become highly sought after by consumers. As of September 22, 2021, Delta-8 THC is legally available for purchase in the state of Arkansas. This cannabinoid, found naturally in hemp plants, has experienced a surge in popularity due to its desirable effects that mimic Delta-9 THC. 

Is Delta-10 legal in Arkansas? 

What is Delta-10 and why is it different from Delta-8, you ask? The main difference between Delta 8-THC, Delta 9-THC, and Delta 10-THC is their legal status, both at the federal and state level. All three cannabinoids are known for their euphoric psychoactive effects and potential medicinal properties. 

Delta 10-THC is a relatively new compound derived from hemp that offers a milder high than the other two deltas. These cannabinoids are also believed to have anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, appetite-stimulating, and stress-reducing properties. Delta 10-THC is not currently legal for consumption or purchase in Arkansas.

Are THC-O and other THC variants legal in Arkansas? 

In recent years, alternative hemp-derived cannabinoids have dominated the market as a more accessible way to get high. However, they have existed in a legal gray area until February 2023. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. These compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers. 

For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. Advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.

Are HHC and HHC-O legal in Arkansas?

HHC is not exactly on good terms with the law in Arkansas. Although the 2018 Farm Bill gave the green light to cannabinoids extracted from the hemp plant, the DEA made it clear that synthetic cannabinoids, like HHC, are still considered controlled substances. And since HHC isn’t naturally found in high levels in hemp it does comply with Arkansas’ interpretation of the law. So, in a nutshell, HHC is considered a controlled substance and therefore, illegal in Arkansas.

Cultivation Laws

In Arkansas, growing marijuana for personal medical use is limited to registered patients who have been approved to participate in the state’s Medical Marijuana Program. According to Arkansas state law, these patients are allowed to grow up to six mature marijuana plants and six seedlings, provided they have obtained a grower’s license from the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.

However, it is illegal to grow marijuana for sale or distribution in Arkansas, even for registered medical marijuana patients. Patients who are found to be growing more marijuana plants than what is allowed for personal use, or growing marijuana for sale, may face legal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

It is important to note that marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program operates in a legal grey area, with the state and federal governments having different stances on marijuana. As a result, it is important for individuals to be fully informed of the laws and regulations surrounding medical marijuana, and to consult with a knowledgeable attorney if they have any questions or concerns.

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Arkansas

To obtain a medical marijuana card in Arkansas, individuals must first receive a qualifying diagnosis from a licensed Arkansas physician. 

Once an individual has received a qualifying diagnosis, they can apply for a medical marijuana card through the ADH. The ADH requires individuals to submit an application, along with a fee, and proof of Arkansas residency. Once the application is approved, the individual will receive a medical marijuana card, which must be presented to purchase marijuana products from an Arkansas-licensed dispensary.

It is important to note that medical marijuana cards are valid for one year, and must be renewed annually by submitting a renewal application to the ADH. Additionally, individuals must carry their medical marijuana card with them whenever they are in possession of marijuana products, as failure to do so may result in legal penalties.

Where to Buy Weed in Arkansas

With a clear understanding of the medical and recreational marijuana laws in Arkansas, it’s time to answer the question you really want to know: where can you get it? 


In Arkansas, medical marijuana can be purchased from licensed dispensaries. There are currently 33 licensed dispensaries operating in the state, with more expected to open in the future. To purchase marijuana products from a dispensary, individuals must present a valid Arkansas medical marijuana card. 

It is important to note that Arkansas law restricts the amount of marijuana that can be purchased and possessed at one time, and it is illegal to purchase marijuana products from unlicensed individuals or sources. 


Medical marijuana delivery is also available in Arkansas. Patients can place orders through licensed dispensaries and have their products delivered directly to their homes.

Direct to Consumer

At this time, direct-to-consumer sales of marijuana products are not allowed in Arkansas. All medical marijuana products must be purchased through a licensed dispensary.

Black Market

Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.

Efforts to Legalize Recreational Weed in Arkansas

There have been multiple efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Arkansas. However, as of November 8, 2022, recreational marijuana remains illegal in the state. The use, possession, sale, and cultivation of recreational marijuana is still considered a criminal offense under Arkansas law.

Proposals to legalize recreational marijuana like Arkansas Issue 4, have been introduced in the Arkansas Legislature in recent years, but they have not gained sufficient support to pass into law. Advocates of legalization have pointed to the potential tax revenue and job creation benefits of a regulated recreational marijuana industry, as well as the potential to reduce the criminalization of marijuana use. 

Opponents of legalization have raised concerns about the potential negative impacts on public health and safety, as well as the risk of increased access to marijuana by minors. It is unclear what the future holds for recreational marijuana legalization in Arkansas, but it remains a topic of ongoing debate and discussion among state lawmakers and the public.

Is Drug Testing Legal in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, employers are allowed to conduct drug testing for job applicants and employees. However, the testing must be conducted in accordance with the Arkansas Drug Free Workplace Act, which requires employers to provide written notice of their drug testing policies and procedures, including information about the types of drugs that will be tested for. Employers may choose to conduct drug testing at any time, including pre-employment, post-accident, and random testing, but it must be done in a manner that is reasonable and respects individuals’ privacy. 

Certain drug testing methods, such as urine, blood, or hair testing, are allowed but must be conducted by a licensed laboratory and results kept confidential. Overall, while specific parameters for employer drug testing may vary depending on the employer and industry, Arkansas law requires that drug testing be conducted in a legal and reasonable manner that respects individuals’ privacy.

General FAQ

Where can you smoke weed in Arkansas?

Currently, it is only legal to consume weed if you hold a valid Medical Marijuana Card. However, there are restrictions on where marijuana can be used. Medical marijuana cannot be used in public places, including parks, schools, government buildings, and workplaces. It is also illegal to smoke marijuana while driving or operating a vehicle. Patients can use medical marijuana in private places, such as their homes, but landlords and property owners have the right to restrict or prohibit marijuana use on their properties. Some hospitals and long-term care facilities may also have restrictions on the use of medical marijuana on their premises.

Can you smoke weed in public in Arkansas? 

Simple answer – NO!

When was medical weed legalized in Arkansas?

Medical marijuana became legal in Arkansas on November 8th, 2016.

Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ

What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?

In Arkansas, the sale, gift, transportation, and importation of marijuana is illegal unless done by a licensed dispensary. Possession with intent to deliver can result in fines or imprisonment, with more severe penalties for larger quantities or repeat offenses. Penalties range from a Class A misdemeanor (1 year jail and $2,500 fine) to a Class A felony (6 year minimum sentence, up to 30 years, and $15,000 fine).

What is the penalty for selling to a minor?

In Arkansas, selling marijuana to a person under 18 years old who is at least 3 years younger is subject to an enhanced sentence, which can result in a fine and a term of imprisonment up to two times the authorized range for the offense. The sentence can range from a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, to a Class A felony, which is punishable by a mandatory 6 year minimum sentence, up to 30 years, and a fine not to exceed $15,000.

What is possession with the intent to sell?

Possession with intent to sell is a legal term used to describe the act of possessing a controlled substance (such as marijuana) with the intention of distributing or selling it to others, rather than for personal use. This is often considered a more serious crime than simple possession, and the penalties for possession with intent to sell can be much more severe than those for simple possession. The specific definition and penalties for possession with intent to sell can vary depending on the jurisdiction.

When is possession a crime?

Possession of marijuana is a crime in Arkansas unless it is in accordance with state law, such as a patient possessing medical marijuana with a valid medical marijuana card, or a licensed dispensary possessing marijuana for the purpose of sale. If a person possesses marijuana without a valid medical card or license, it can be considered illegal and result in criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The severity of the penalty will depend on the amount of marijuana in possession and other factors, such as prior criminal history.

Take Action
to Legalize

Show your support for federal legalization of all cannabis.

Text "Vote" to 420-420

Legal Weed Updates

Enter your information below to get updates and alerts about the legality status of weed in your area.

Legal Weed Updates