Arkansas Moves Closer Toward Launching Medical Marijuana Program

by Kyle Massey  on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 5:31 am   2 min read

Arkansas took one of the biggest last steps toward starting its medical marijuana program Wednesday night, choosing the businesses that will operate 32 cannabis dispensary sites around the state.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission voted 5-0 to accept scoring of 200 applications by an outside contractor, Public Consulting Group of Boston, clearing the way for the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to issue dispensary licenses.

The panel, which had two new members at Wednesday's packed 100-minute meeting, had chosen five cultivation sites earlier, and despite long questions and apparent internal hand-wringing, the members rubber-stamped the consultants' dispensary regulations to the annoyance of the audience, which included many failed applicants.

State officials expect marijuana products to be available to the state's nearly 7,000 authorized patients sometime in April as the state becomes one of 33 in the nation allowing broad use of medicinal cannabis. The District Columbia and 10 states also allow recreational use.

"Dispensary licenses will go to the top four scorers in each of eight zones around the state," said Brandon Thornton, CEO of Steep Hill Arkansas, which will serve the dispensaries and cultivation centers with testing services. "But you have to remember that some of the top scorers had applied in more than one zone, and they'll be forced to choose which zone they want to operate in, leaving room for applicants in the other zones to move up."

The top scorers in each zone are listed below:

Zone 1, northwest Arkansas

• Acanza Health Group
• Valentine Holdings, doing business as Northwest Arkansas Medical Cannabis
• Arkansas Medicinal Source Patient Center
• The Releaf Center
• Eureka Green

Zone 2, in north-central Arkansas

• Fiddler's Green
• Big Fish of North Central Arkansas
• Plant Family Therapeutics
• Arkansas Natural Products
• Arkansas Green Cross Cannabis Dispensary

Zone 3, northeast Arkansas

• Valentine Holdings, doing business as Northwest Arkansas Medical Cannabis
• Grassroots OPCO
• THC Rx Inc.
• Delta Cannabis Co.
• and Natural State Wellness Dispensary.

Zone 4, western Arkansas

• Valentine Holdings, doing business as River Valley Medical Cannabis Co.
• Natural State Wellness Dispensary
• JPS Management LLC, doing business as Fort Cannabis Co.
• River Valley Dispensary
• Johnson County Dispensary.

Zone 5, central Arkansas

• Harvest
• Grassroots OPCO
• Natural State Wellness Dispensary
• Natural Relief Dispensary
• Native Green Wellness Center.

Zone 6, western and central Arkansas

• Green Springs Medical
• Native Green Wellness Center
• Doctors Orders Rx
• Natural State Medical Group
• Green Remedies Group

Zone 7, southeast Arkansas

• Acanza Health Group
• Natural State Wellness Dispensary
• PainFree Rx
• Delta Cultivators
• Pine Bluff Agriceuticals

Zone 8, southwest Arkansas

• Grassroots OPCO
• Noah's Ark
• Bloom Medicinals of AR
• Arkadelphia Dispensary



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