Growing Cannabis in Arkansas

Cannabis cultivation has experienced a meteoric rise in interest and legality across the United States, with Arkansas being no exception. With the evolving legal landscape and growing acceptance of cannabis both for medical and recreational use, understanding the specific regulations and best practices for cultivation in Arkansas is essential for potential growers. This article will explore the regulations, climate considerations, and best practices for cultivating cannabis in the state of Arkansas.

Legal Regulations

Medical Cannabis Cultivation

In 2016, Arkansas voters approved the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, allowing qualified patients to obtain and use medical marijuana. While patients cannot cultivate their own cannabis plants, the state permits a limited number of licensed cultivation facilities to provide for dispensaries.

To be eligible for a cultivation license in Arkansas, an applicant must meet several criteria, including:

  1. Proof of residency and majority ownership by Arkansans.
  2. Financial stability, including a bond or assets worth $1 million and proof of at least $500,000 in liquid assets.
  3. A thorough business plan outlining operations, facility specifications, staffing, and security measures.
  4. A non-refundable application fee.

The state strictly monitors and regulates these facilities to ensure compliance with state law, product quality, and security measures.

Recreational Cannabis

As of the last update in September 2021, recreational cannabis remains illegal in Arkansas. Residents are urged to familiarize themselves with current state laws and any local ordinances that may affect cannabis cultivation and possession.

Climate and Geography Considerations

Arkansas has a diverse climate that varies from the northwest highlands to the eastern lowlands. Generally, it experiences a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters.


Cannabis plants typically thrive in temperatures between 70°F and 85°F during the day. Nighttime temperatures can drop, but should not consistently fall below 55°F. Arkansas’s summer temperatures are conducive for cannabis growth, but early frosts in late fall can be detrimental to outdoor crops. Growers should monitor local weather patterns and consider the specific requirements of the cannabis strain they are cultivating.


High humidity, common in Arkansas, can be a challenge for cannabis growers, as it may foster the growth of mold and mildew. It’s essential to ensure proper ventilation and air circulation for indoor grows and to select mold-resistant strains for outdoor cultivation. Utilizing greenhouses with dehumidifiers can help manage these issues for outdoor growers.


Cannabis plants require ample sunlight, ideally between 10 to 12 hours during the flowering stage. While Arkansas receives an adequate amount of sunlight, growers should ensure their crops are situated in locations where they can receive uninterrupted daily sunlight, especially during the critical flowering period.

Best Practices for Cultivating Cannabis in Arkansas

Soil Selection

Arkansas has a diverse range of soils. While some areas have fertile loamy soil, others may have more clay-heavy soil. Cannabis plants prefer well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Before planting, it is beneficial to test the soil’s pH level, ensuring it falls between 6.0 to 7.0. Amending the soil with compost, worm castings, or other organic matter can enhance its nutrient profile.

Pest and Disease Management

Due to the state’s high humidity and diverse insect population, Arkansas growers should be vigilant about pests and diseases. Common pests include aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars. Using natural predators, like ladybugs, can provide organic pest control. For mold and mildew prevention, ensuring proper spacing between plants and removing any leaves touching the soil can be effective.


While Arkansas often receives ample rainfall, growers should monitor the moisture levels of their soil. Over-watering can lead to root rot, especially in poorly draining soils. Drip irrigation or soaker hoses can provide consistent moisture without oversaturating the soil.


Cultivating cannabis in Arkansas, as with many regions, requires attention to local regulations, climate considerations, and cultivation best practices. By understanding the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the Arkansas environment, growers can achieve successful and fruitful harvests. As always, growers are advised to stay updated with state and local regulations to ensure their operations remain within the bounds of the law.