cliff-hart-flag-1000.jpg
heart.gif
heart.gif
heart.gif

Let's talk economic policy:

Adult-Use Cannabis

Industrial Hemp Production

Economic Growth:
Arkansas Revenue Generator

GET ON BOARD

Take Part in the Cliff Hart Campaign

DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF ARKANSAS

Cliff Hart is running for Arkansas State Senate

side-2.jpg
heart.gif

ADULT USE CANNABIS

Cliff Hart supports adult-use cannabis in Arkansas.

A great majority of Arkansans support adult use of cannabis.  

The Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Amendment of 2022.

  • Legalize recreational cannabis through a state constitutional amendment.

  • Allows Arkansans to buy or grow up to 12 plants per household.

  • Expunge all prior cannabis convictions/charges.

  • This amendment proposes an 8% state tax, 5% local tax.

ballot-initiative.jpg

Hello, I'm Cliff Hart. I have a vision for our communities in Arkansas that consist of vibrant economic centers, safe schools and beautiful green spaces. My Arkansas Revenue Generator Program will MOVE Arkansas up the economic ladder. We cannot remain at the bottom of the list any longer. 

I support passing adult-use cannabis legislation to permanently stimulate and grow Arkansas's economy and produce a permanent state tax revenue benefiting the people of Arkansas.

It is essential Arkansas institutes a constitutional right to grow cannabis, otherwise individuals and business owners may face federal jeopardy. Legalizing cannabis will put Arkansas on a level-playing field with other states that have already legalized cannabis and now enjoy permanent state tax revenue. Currently, adult-use cannabis is illegal in Arkansas. I support the legalization of adult-use cannabis and the expungement of all prior non-violent cannabis possession convictions.

Cannabis was legalized in Colorado in 2012. Colorado's population of 6 million people purchase over a billion dollars in cannabis products annually, producing approximately $350 million in permanent non-seasonal state tax revenue.

Ultimately, Arkansas' population of 3 million could purchase half a billion dollars of cannabis products annually, potentially producing $175-200 million in permanent, annual Arkansas state tax revenue.

When an adult-use cannabis amendment is passed, I propose a cannabis revenue program to help fund pre-K programs.  University of Chicago determined in research that, "pre-K program finds gains in education, health and employment" (Wang, 2019). According to Nobel laureate James Heckman, participants in the original research are more likely to graduate high school without suspension, more likely to have full-time employment or be self-employed and are less likely to ever be arrested. These programs help our children to succeed, and parents have more opportunities for gainful employment and financial relief. 

Implementation of industrial hemp products will fill many needs across Arkansas and the country. Arkansas farmers can grow a sustainable natural resource that will increase production of land usage and improve return on investment. Arkansas can become the Number #1 producer of hemp and exporter of products in America, permanently moving Arkansas up the U.S. economic ladder.

History of Arkansas Cannabis Legislation

Failed medical cannabis initiative (2012)

In 2012, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act (Issue 5) qualified for vote on the statewide ballot. The act would have allowed non-profit organizations to grow and sell medical cannabis and additionally permitted patients who live over five miles from a legal dispensary to cultivate a small number of plants on their own property. The act was defeated by a vote of 48.6% to 51.4%.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (2016)

On November 8, 2016, Arkansas voters approved Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, to legalize the medical use of cannabis. A separate measure, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act (Issue 7), was disqualified from the ballot 12 days before the election by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment passed by a vote of 53%–47% as an amendment to the state constitution. It allows patients who obtain a doctor's recommendation to possess up to 2+1⁄2 ounces (71 g) of cannabis for the treatment of any of 12 qualifying medical conditions. It also requires that between 20 and 40 cannabis dispensaries and 4 to 8 cultivators be licensed by the state. No allowance was made for patients to cultivate at home.

Licensed sales did not begin until May 2019 when the first dispensary opened in Hot Springs. The dispensary was one of 32 initially licensed by the state along with 5 cultivators.

 

Municipal Reforms

In 2006, Eureka Springs residents voted 64%–36% to make enforcement of cannabis laws the lowest police priority.

 

Fayetteville residents approved a similar initiative in 2008 by a 62%–38% margin.

In 2021, the Little Rock Board of Directors voted 7–3 to require that "investigations, citations, arrests, property seizures, etc. for adult misdemeanor marijuana offenses" be made the lowest law enforcement and prosecutorial priority when the amount of cannabis is deemed to be for personal use.

Cannabis Moving Forward: Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Amendment of 2022  

An organization called ARKANSAS TRUE GRASS is gathering signatures to put recreational marijuana on the ballot for the 2022 election. Under the proposed amendment recreational marijuana would be legal and regulated by the Arkansas Agriculture Dept. and render all prior convictions of marijuana crimes null and void. In addition, Arkansans would be allowed to buy or grow up to 12 plants in their home. The deadline to get it on the ballot is July 2022. 

 

Other legalization efforts are underway in Arkansas. According to the Arkansas Secretary of State website, Ethics Commission, a statement of organization was filed on 10/15/2021: Responsible Growth of Arkansas – Adult Use Cannabis – Statewide.

heart.gif

INDUSTRIAL HEMP PRODUCTION

Cliff Hart supports industrial hemp production in Arkansas

Arkansas business entrepreneurs have a golden opportunity to produce and sell hemp products here in Arkansas and nationwide. Arkansas farmers need retail entrepreneurs who will use Arkansas-grown hemp as their source material.

 

There is great demand and use for hemp-based products including biodegradable containers and bags, as well as building materials and CBD. Many states have outlawed petroleum-based plastic bags in favor of biodegradable plastic bags.

 

Container producers who made the switch from petroleum-based products to hemp-based products utilize the same type plastic mold injection machinery and equipment to produce a range of biodegradable products.

I support investment in and the build-out of a hemp industry for farmers and entrepreneurs who produce and sell hemp-based products.

California hemp grower uses cotton gin to process hemp.

Can Hemp Replace Plastic?

  • According to federal law, the sale and consumption of hemp-derived CBD products are legal in Arkansas, provided that the products meet the conditions stated in the 2018 Farm Bill

  • The Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) requires hemp producers to have a license before cultivating and selling raw hemp and its byproducts.

  • Consumers in Arkansas can buy CBD without a prescription, on the condition that these products contain no more than 0.3% THC.

  • People can purchase cannabidiol from physical dispensaries and online shops. CBD retailers are located throughout the state.

Cliff-Hart-Yard-Sign-400.jpg
heart.gif

ECONOMIC GROWTH: ARKANSAS REVENUE GENERATOR

We need to legalize adult-use cannabis and promote industrial hemp production for long-term economic growth in Arkansas.

I have a vision of Arkansas being elevated to the top tier of America's most successful state economies. Arkansas's economy has had little success in improving the lives of everyday Arkansans. Most people are just  trying to survive day-to-day life while working and raising their families. We need to implement good family infrastructure that allows folks to succeed.

Arkansas has the opportunity to invest in good business practices to create a successful cannabis revenue program. Colorado's business model has produced millions of dollars of revenue and has been successful for their state, Arkansas can follow this model to produce the same results. 

the colorado model

In November, Colorado dispensaries sold $175.1 million worth of products, according to figures released by the Department of Revenue on Tuesday. Recreational sales accounted for about $140.5 million, while medical sales accounted for nearly $34.7 million, the agency reported.

Colorado collected nearly $32.4 million in taxes and fees in November. The Denver Post, 1/13/2021

Arkansas has a population of approx. 3 million people - approximately one half of the state population of Colorado (6m), which is to say if adult-use cannabis legislation is passed and properly implemented, Arkansas could enjoy approximately half the amount of cannabis revenue Colorado has enjoyed for a very long time.

Colorado's population of 6 million purchases over a billion dollars in cannabis products annually, producing approximately $350 million in permanent non-seasonal state tax revenue.

Ultimately, Arkansas' population of 3 million could purchase half a billion dollars of cannabis products annually, potentially producing $175-200 million in permanent, annual Arkansas state tax revenue.

NORML.jpg
colorado-sales.jpg
TDP-L-LIVWELL__HHR0383.jpg

Michael McGraw, production manager, wearing protective clothing and hair and face netting, shows off the perfect leaf of a marijuana plant while he works in the flowering room at the LivWell Enlightened Health cultivation facility on Jan. 13, 2020 in Denver. 

Are Hemp And CBD The Same?