Support for expanding Arkansas’ limited medical marijuana program is supported by more than two out of every three voters in the state, according to new polling.
As reported on by local station ABC7, a new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Poll of likely statewide voters shows the issue has gained momentum since its passage with 53% support in November 2016. In a survey conducted June 9-10, 2020, voters voiced a double-digit increase in approval.
Q: Do you support or oppose the use of medical marijuana in Arkansas?
Arkansas lawmakers and regulators were slow to develop and implement the rules for issuing cultivation and dispensary licenses, and the process was hampered with a series of legal actions, states ABC7. Eventually, licenses were issued and over the past year more distribution outlets have opened. As of June 3, the state of Arkansas reported that $86.38 million in medical marijuana sales have taken place cumulatively. At least 40% of first year medical marijuana sales occurred since March 1, according to state officials.
“We wanted to test attitudes on whether or not the legalization of medical cannabis is gaining or losing support. It appears that more Arkansans are supportive of the issue now that it is in the marketplace,” said Roby Brock, Talk Business & Politics Editor-in-Chief. “We also wanted to see if there is support for making medical marijuana more available through the issuance of expanded licenses and are voters ready to legalize recreational marijuana.”
The latest survey of 869 statewide likely voters was taken on Tuesday, June 9 and Wednesday, June 10 and has a margin of error of +/-3.3%. The following question tested potential expansion of marijuana in Arkansas. It was only asked of the 67.5% who supported medical marijuana.
Q: Recently, there have been significant increases in both the amount of medical marijuana sold in Arkansas and the number of medical marijuana patients with qualifying conditions. Knowing this, would you support:
23.5% Increasing the number of licensed medical marijuana cultivation and dispensaries
19% Legalizing recreational marijuana in Arkansas
“It would appear there is support for increasing licenses for medical marijuana,” Brock said. “Also, among the two-thirds of those supporting medical marijuana, a majority support recreational marijuana, which could be on the November ballot.”
This latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College poll will release more results over the next three days, including:
- Sen. Tom Cotton job approval
- President Donald Trump job approval
- Trump vs. Joe Biden matchup
- Questions regarding race, policing and protests
- Playing college football this fall
- Gov. Hutchinson’s job approval, reopening the Arkansas economy
Robert Coon, managing partner with Impact Management Group, helped craft and analyze the latest poll. He offered this analysis of the poll results:
“In 2016, Arkansas voters passed medical marijuana at the ballot box with roughly 53% of the vote. According to this survey, voters have become more accepting of the program now that it’s been implemented, with overall support reaching 67.5%. Support for medical marijuana is highest among those under the age of 45 (75%+), yet two-thirds of voters 45 to 64 and more than half of voters 65+ say they support its use. Democrats (82%) and Independents (77%) view the medical marijuana issue similarly, while support is lower among Republicans (49% support to 34% oppose).
“Among voters that support the use of medical marijuana, 70% would support the issuance of additional cultivation and dispensary licenses and 64% would support legalization for recreational use. While voters who indicated that they opposed medical marijuana were not asked for their views on recreational use, assuming that they would also oppose recreational marijuana overall support for legalization would be approximately 44%.”
This survey of 869 likely Arkansas voters was conducted June 9-10, 2020, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.3%. Respondents were contacted via text message and given a unique link to complete the survey online.
Under 30 4.2%
Between 30-44 24.2%
Between 45-64 43.1%
65 and over 28.5%
Native American 1.5%