The Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners denied the popular name and ballot title for a constitutional amendment that would legalize recreational marijuana, saying the measure did not clearly specify whether there would be a certain THC limit on edibles.
Commissioners unanimously voted not to certify the Responsible Growth Arkansas amendment that would issue adult-use cannabis cultivation and dispensary licenses to businesses that already hold licenses under the state’s medical marijuana program, followed by an additional 40 licenses chosen by a lottery.
The legal counsel for Responsible Growth Arkansas can file a lawsuit and take the issue to the Supreme Court if they so choose and argue that the measure should be included on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.
Board member Bilenda Harris-Ritter, who is the Republican Party’s designee, said she was going to vote no on the ballot title because the amendment would repeal the current THC limits without explaining if a new limit would be set.
“I know they can’t put every single thing in here but I think that is significant enough,” she said.
Steve Lancaster, counsel for Responsible Growth Arkansas, argued that the role of the Board of Election Commissioners is not to judge the amendment itself but to see if the ballot title has language that is misleading or omits information that could change a voter’s mind. He said the repeal of the THC limit doesn’t mean the limit is gone, arguing that the ballot title explains that the rules would be decided by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.
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