Earlier this month the Joint Budget Committee at the state legislature proposed two measures appropriating a total of $7,500,000 to pay for expenses from medical marijuana in Arkansas.
H.B. 1072 budgets $2.5 million for the Medical Marijuana Commission Fund to cover refunds, reimbursements, and contingency expenses.
H.B. 1106 budgets $5 million for the various state agencies responsible for implementing and regulating medical marijuana in Arkansas.
As we have written before, medical marijuana has cost Arkansas taxpayers millions of dollars.
Since May of 2019, the State of Arkansas has garnered approximately $21 million in marijuana tax revenue.
Of that money, only about $13 million has gone to the state to pay for the medical marijuana program’s expenses.
However, the state already has spent over $32 million on medical marijuana.
In Fiscal Year 2018 the Arkansas Legislature appropriated $5 million for the implementation of “medical” marijuana.
In Fiscal Year 2019 they appropriated another $5 million.
In Fiscal Year 2020 they passed two measures appropriating approximately $11.6 million total for the program.
And last year the legislature passed two measures budgeting more than $10.6 million for medical marijuana in 2021.
In other words, despite high marijuana sales, Arkansas taxpayers are still millions of dollars in the hole when it comes to medical marijuana.