UPDATE: Responsible Growth reports raising more than $13 million in legalization campaign November 1, 2022 By Griffin Coop Responsible Growth Arkansas reported Tuesday that it has raised more than $13 million in its attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in Arkansas, according to a press release from the organization. The group said the fundraising haul is evidence of broad statewide support for the Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment, which will legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and increase the number of cultivators and dispensaries in the state. Responsible Growth reported $4.8 million in cumulative contributions in the last filing period, which ended on September 30, according to financial filings with the state Ethics Commission. Here’s the press release from Responsible Growth: Responsible Growth Arkansas (RGA) is excited to report financial contributions from various Arkansas-based operators and cannabis advocates. Arkansas dispensaries and cultivators from all corners of the state contributed to the Issue 4 campaign. First, Issue 4, the only citizens-led ballot initiative on the ballot, worked tirelessly to bring together almost 200,000 Arkansas signatures to get Issue 4 on the ballot earlier this year. Since then, the campaign for Issue 4 has brought together Arkansas farmers, bankers, doctors, and business leaders to contribute the financial resources needed to survive legal challenges and educate voters. Lance Huey, former AR sheriff and Co Chairman of the Responsible Growth Arkansas Campaign said “I can tell you we don’t need to defund the police, we need to fund the police and a vote for Issue 4 provides critical Law Enforcement funding. I know first hand it’s time for our Law Enforcement to have the time and resources to go after serious crime and not low level misdemeanors.” Our state’s successful medical marijuana program has already brought in well over $700 million in sales, including $205 million in MMJ so far in 2022. These funds are helping state and local economic development efforts across the state. The Arkansas medical marijuana industry’s financial support of Issue 4 further signifies the commitment by the industry to bring new jobs, cancer research funding, law enforcement funding, and drug court funding. “As the Executive Director of Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association, I am proud of the contributions by the industry stakeholders statewide to assist in the campaign and educate voters about the benefits of Issue 4. Campaigns are expensive, and it takes money to get on television, in mailboxes, and in front of voters.” said Bill Paschall. The significant funding in this last leg of the campaign comes from an industry committed to increased access for Arkansans. A vote for Issue 4 is a vote for competition and expansion. There will be a total of 52 new licenses that will increase access, competition, expand opportunities and bring in tourism dollars from surrounding states. In addition to its efforts to pass Issue 4, Responsible Growth Arkansas is formulating a detailed plan to tackle restorative justice, including expungement for minor marijuana offenses, in the upcoming legislative session. UPDATE: Responsible Growth raised slightly more than $8.5 million last month, by far the group’s largest monthly fundraising haul of the campaign and far more than the opposition groups have reported filing thus far. The October haul brings Responsible Growth’s total contributions to $13,363,162. The group spent $8,479,620 last month, bringing its total expenditures to $12,394,262. Responsible Growth reported a balance of $968,899. Two of the three opposition groups reported far less than Responsible Growth in contributions last month. Family Council Action Committee reported $212,748 last month, thanks to $212,000 from Republican megadonor Ron Cameron of Little Rock. The financial filing for Safe and Secure Communities, the opposition group funded primarily by Cameron and Richard Uihlein of Illinois, did not appear on the state Ethics Commission’s website by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. A third opposition group, Save Arkansas From Epidemic, reported that it had no activity last month. Responsible Growth received large donations last month from some of the state’s cultivators as well as several businesses associated with Good Day Farm. The largest donors last month were as follows: Bold Team LLC – $1 million for a total contribution of $2 million Good Day Farm Arkansas LLC – $2 million for a total contribution of $3 million Osage Creek Cultivation LLC – $1.2 million for a total contribution of $2 million NSMC-OPCO (Natural State Medicinals Cultivation) – $350,000 for a total contribution of $700,000 Capital City Medicinal LLC (Berner’s by Good Day Farm dispensary) – $850,000, total contribution not available TXADC LLC (Good Day Farm Texarkana dispensary – $405,000, total contribution not available MONTDISCO Holdings LLC (Good Day Farm Monticello) – $575,000, total contribution not available JCODC Investments LLC (Good Day Farm Van Buren) – $885,000, total contribution not available TEXARK CV LLC (Super Farm dispensary) – $950,000, total contribution not available The largest expenditures last month were as follows: Blue Vanguard of Alexandria, Virginia – $534,161 for advertising Targeted Platform Media of Crownsville, Maryland – $7,443,008 for advertising New Partners of St. Cloud, Minnesota – $105,000 for advertising I Heart Radio of Little Rock – $114,662 for advertising In total, Responsible Growth spent $8,411,187 on advertising last month.