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Disclaimer: The information below is fully based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state.
Like people throughout the states, many folks in Arkansas are looking more and more toward the potential benefits offered by cannabidiol (CBD). In research and anecdotal reports, CBD has been linked to benefits that might include relief from back pain, arthritis and muscle spasms, as well as help with issues that can include stress, insomnia, anxiety and depression.
Many people are specifically interested in hemp-based CBD because, unlike high THC marijuana, CBD has potentially therapeutic effects without the risk of intoxication. Additionally, new laws regarding hemp make CBD legal throughout the country, although subject to regulation that varies state by state. If you are wondering “is CBD legal in Arkansas?” then read on to learn more about the specifics of Arkansas’s state CBD laws.
Is CBD oil legal in Arkansas?
Yes, CBD oil is legal and accessible in Arkansas. Individuals who have a medical marijuana card can obtain marijuana-based CBD products from licensed dispensaries. Hemp-based CBD has been removed from the state’s list of controlled substances and is legal to sell and purchase. There is no age limit for the purchase of hemp-based CBD in Arkansas, nor are buyers required to get a prescription.
What are the current CBD laws in Arkansas?
At the current time, CBD is legal in Arkansas. Arkansas began putting laws into place that would allow the cultivation and sale of CBD-producing hemp after Congress passed the federal 2018 Farm Bill. Arkansas’s law specifically exclude’s publicly marketable hemp products from the Arkansas State Plant Board’s definition of cannabis. This action removes hemp from the state’s controlled substances list. A publicly marketable hemp product is one that does not include any living hemp materials, floral materials or viable seeds. The law specifically cites the legality of hemp-based CBD as long as it was derived from industrial hemp. The state also allows for the sale of CBD products that are approved as a prescription medication by the US Food and Drug Administration. At the time of this writing, the FDA has approved only one CBD product, a prescription drug used to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
Many experts say that modern Arkansas has one of the most hemp-friendly set of state laws in the country. However, this was not always the case. Additionally, marijuana-based products, including marijuana-based CBD, remain at least partially restricted. Marijuana was first explicitly criminalized in Arkansas in 1923. Although it does not contain more than trace amounts of intoxicating THC, industrial hemp was included in the ban.
Since that time, Arkansas has had some of the more restrictive cannabis laws in the country. For instance, Arkansas is a “Smoke a joint, lose your license” state. This means that anyone who is convicted of a cannabis offense will lose their driver’s license for six months as part of the penalty.
However, while laws are still strict, the state has made allowances for both medical marijuana patients and, along with the rest of the country, for those who wish to use hemp-based CBD or who wish to cultivate hemp or create hemp products.
In 2012, Arkansas made its first move toward medical marijuana legalization. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act (also known as Issue 5) would have allowed for for-profit vendors who grow and sell cannabis for medical purposes. Additionally, patients who lived more than five miles from a legal dispensary would be allowed to grow a small number of plants on their property for personal use. However, the act failed to pass, with 51.4% of voters voting against it.
Attitudes had changed by 2016. Voters passed Issue 6 by a margin of 53% to 47%. The new law allowed for patients in Arkansas with any of 12 covered conditions to get a doctor’s recommendation for possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for treatment, including high-CBD marijuana. Covered conditions include AIDS, PTSD, Tourrettes syndrome, Alzheimer’s, seizure disorders and others. The law called for anywhere from 20 to 40 dispensaries to be opened in the state and for four to eight cultivated to be issued licenses. Licensed sales started in Arkansas in 2019. Patients with medical ID cards can purchase a range of medical marijuana products, including marijuana-based CBD.
A similar ballot initiative was found unconstitutional that same year. Issue 7 called for wider reform, with 56 listed conditions that could be treated with cannabis in Arkansas. This law would also have allowed individuals to grow their own cannabis plants per personal use.
While no serious moves have been made in the state toward full recreational legalization — which would allow for individuals to purchase marijuana-based CBD products without a medical ID card — a handful of municipalities have moved to make cannabis laws less restrictive. In Fayetteville in 2008, residents approved an initiative that would make enforcement of cannabis laws in that area the lowest police authority. Residents in Eureka Springs voted by a two-thirds majority to reduce the enforcement of marijuana laws.
Luckily, laws liberalizing the production and sale of hemp-based CBD have been passed in the state, as well. Act 981, the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act, was passed in 2017. This law allowed for farmers, researchers and hemp processors to investigate new applications for industrial hemp in Arkansas. The law also allows for the retail sale of hemp-based CBD as long as the product contains no more than .3% THC. All hemp grown in the state must be tested to ensure that it does not contain more than the legal limit of THC. Arkansas CBD users who wish to avoid THC consumption should ask where and how their CBD products were tested so they can ensure that they are getting the product that they want.
Can I purchase CBD in Arkansas?
Yes, CBD products can be purchased throughout the state of Arkansas. If you have a medical marijuana ID card, you can purchase cannabis-based CBD products from legal dispensaries. If the medical ID card holder is a minor, an adult must accompany them.
Hemp-based CBD products are legal to buy and possess in Arkansas. They can be purchased at a wide range of outlets throughout the state. There are many retail establishments that specialize in CBD products. Here, you’ll find products that include CBD oil, creams, extracts and edibles. You can also find CBD products at general purpose retailers, pharmacies, natural food stores and convenience stores.
You can also purchase CBD products online in Arkansas. Many people prefer to look online for their favorite CBD items. This allows them to get a wider array of concentrations, and sometimes better prices. No matter where you are buying CBD products, make sure you check to see how and where they are tested. Independent lab tested CBD products can help you ensure that you are getting the CBD concentration you want and avoiding substances that you don’t.