Medical Marijuana Put on Back Burner

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 11, 2019 12:00 am   1 min read

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Impatient patients will have to wait at least till the end of April to buy legal medical marijuana in Arkansas, state officials told Whispers last week, snuffing out optimism that cannabis products might hit dispensary shelves a few weeks sooner.

The state’s 32 licensed dispensary sites are scrambling to open, and the initial cannabis crop from Bold Team LLC in Cotton Plant, the first licensed cultivation center to get up and running, is almost ready.

“Based on feedback we are receiving from the companies recently licensed, we anticipate a small number of dispensaries may open their doors for business by the end of April,” said spokesman Scott Hardin of the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration, which includes the state’s medical cannabis enforcement arm, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

“While several are in the process of modifying existing facilities and plan to be operational by late spring, others are building from the ground up and will require more time,” he added.

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Before opening, each dispensary will be required to pass an inspection by the ABC’s Enforcement Division. The dispensaries, four in each of eight designated regions of the state, will sell cannabis products to patients with qualifying diagnoses. As of last week, Hardin said, the state had issued 7,640 cannabis cards.

“ABC Enforcement agents also inspect cultivation facilities prior to opening,” Hardin said, noting that Bold Team was approved in early January. “We are also in contact with the cultivation facilities in Berryville and Pine Bluff and anticipate final inspections will take place soon.”

Hardin said he should have more details “as we enter April” on which dispensaries will open first.



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