Arkansas is one of 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, that now allow for comprehensive public medical cannabis programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Under the law, home cultivation is not permitted.

Each of Arkansas’ five health regions will initially be allotted a cannabis cultivation facility license, officials with the state’s medical cannabis program announced.

On Monday, February 27, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board decided on regulations for delivery of medical cannabis to patients and caregivers. Dispensaries will be allowed to deliver medical cannabis to patients the same day it is ordered and only between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The commission had decided in earlier meetings that it will grant 32 dispensary licenses and five cultivation facility licenses. The dispensaries will be spread evenly in eight geographic zones across the state.

By June 20, the state will issue public notice that it will begin accepting applications for those businesses starting June 30. The application period will last 90 days.

Qualifying conditions

Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, Tourette’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, PTSD, severe arthritis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease, or the treatment of any of these conditions qualify. In addition, patients with doctors’ certifications qualify if they have a chronic or debilitating medical condition (or its treatment) that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, intractable pain that has not responded to other treatment for at least six months, severe nausea, seizures, and severe or persistent muscle spasms.

In order to register, patients must submit a written certification from an Arkansas-licensed physician certifying that they suffer from an applicable disease to the Department of Health. Designated caregivers can enroll in the program to assist the physically disabled and minors under 18.

Local control

Cities, towns, and counties may pass reasonable zoning restrictions on dispensaries and cultivation facilities. Localities can only outright prohibit the operation of any facilities through a popular election pursuant to Arkansas’ initiative process.

Cannabis Business Taxation

Cannabis will be a subject to all existing sales taxes. All sales tax revenues will be distributed as follows: 5% to the Department of Health, 2% to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration Division, 1% to the newly-established Medical Marijuana Commission, 10% to the Skill Development Fund, and 50% to the Vocational and Technical Training Special Revenue to the Health Department for costs of administering the program. Any leftover funds would be used to provide cannabis on a sliding scale to patients who are unable to afford a sufficient supply.

Cannabis Business Set-Up Main Steps

  1. Setup your Cannabis Company.
  2. Determine your potential location and premises where licensing is possible.
  3. Develop a business plan for your Cannabis Cultivation or Dispensary business, including detail operational and financial plans.
  4. Acquire the necessary licenses to operate your cannabis business and be completely legal and compliant.
  5. Purchase or lease the premises and equipment, and install the operational infrastructure to be in accordance with all regulations.
  6. Cultivators & Processors: Contract with dispensaries and edible manufacturers to sell high- grade cannabis wholesale.
  7. Dispensaries: Contract with cultivators and manufacturers to grow and produce cannabis products for you, if you decide you don’t want to do it yourself.


Cannabis Business Plan is needed to present to investors or partners, and also to know your costs in detail month by month the profit to be projected. See our Cannabis Business Plan Templates page for details and get a business plan to fit your needs and tailored Arkansas cannabis market projections.