Cannabis Licensing in Arkansas
- Adult Use:
- Cannabis Job Market Overview:
Arkansas citizens shot down a November 2022 ballot initiative, Issue 4, which would have opened up the adult-use market, but with some of the tightest restrictions in the country.
Arkansas voters approved a medical cannabis law in 2016, though patients were not able to purchase products from dispensaries until 2019. Nearly 100,000 patients had been approved for a medical cannabis ("Registry ID") card in Fiscal Year 2021, according to the state's most recent annual report, and the industry directly employed more than 1,200. Thirty-six dispensaries were operational, and 38 licensed at the time of the report. You can see those dispensaries here.
- Cannabis Job Requirements & Application Process:
All plant-touching cannabis workers in Arkansas must obtain a Registry Identification Card, which is issued by the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC). The application is submitted through your employer, who should be able to assist you in the process.
Here's what's required in order to obtain your ID card:
- A completed application form from the ABC to include the following information:
- Legal name of applicant;
- Date of birth;
- Address of applicant;
- Current employment information, including intended position in cultivation facility, processor or dispensary; and
- Criminal history information.
- A completed “Notice of Intent to Hire” form from the cultivation facility or dispensary specifying the intended job duties of the applicant.
- A signed, notarized “Authority to Release Information” form provided by the ABC.
- An in-state criminal background check through the Arkansas State Police, which may be submitted by electronic submission by an Arkansas State Police approved vendor. (You may have to pay for this.)
- The applicant shall also furnish fingerprints to the Arkansas State Police, which may be collected by an Arkansas State Police approved vendor for electronic submission, for transmission to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation for investigation of the applicant’s criminal history, if any. (You may have to pay for this.)
- The following signed forms to be provided by the ABC:
- “Agency Privacy Requirements for Noncriminal Justice Applicants” form; and
- “Noncriminal Justice Applicant’s Privacy Rights” form.
- Pay half of the $50 fee upfront along with the application
- The second half of the $50 fee is due upon notification from the ABC that the application has been approved.
- Cannabis Job Background Check Requirements:
“Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration rules and regulations prohibit the issuance of a registry identification card to a person who has been convicted of an excluded felony offense.” State of Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Alcoholic Beverage Control Division
"Excluded felony offense” means a felony offense as determined by the jurisdiction where the felony offense occurred.
The Medical Marijuana Commission, the Department of Health, or the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division shall determine whether an offense is a felony offense based upon a review of the relevant court records concerning the conviction for the offense.
- An offense that has been sealed by a court or for which a pardon has been granted is not considered an excluded felony offense; or
- A violation of state or federal controlled-substance law that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted, but not including:
- An offense for which the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration, or supervised release, was completed 10 or more years earlier; or
- An offense that has been sealed by a court or for which a pardon has been granted.
- Additional Links:
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