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Arkansas Using Medical Cannabis Taxes to Fund Free School Lunches

Arkansas is using medical cannabis tax revenues to fight food insecurity in the state, with $87 million sent to schools throughout the state to help students access low-cost or free lunches.

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Portions of Arkansas’ medical cannabis tax revenues are being used to fight food insecurity in the state, KATV reports. The state will send $87 million to schools throughout Arkansas to help students access low-cost or free lunches.

Medical Marijuana Commission spokesperson Scott Hardin told KATV that the state has, so far, collected $115 million from the cannabis tax.

“…If someone is on a reduced school lunch, if they are now paying 50 cents to a dollar – that medical marijuana revenue steps in and pays that to ensure that a student gets that for free. So really students in the state will be not having to pay whatever that burden is. Fifty cents, a $1.50 to have reduced school lunch so it really is, it’s affecting Arkansans in a positive way.”Hardin to KATV

The funds had been earmarked to help the University of Arkansas Medical School to obtain a National Cancer Center designation, but Hardin did not explain why the change was made.

Since the medical cannabis program launched in the state in 2016, sales have topped $1 billion. According to state data, there were 98,011 active medical cannabis ID cards in Arkansas as of December 2.   


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