Pulaski County Still Waiting for Medical Marijuana

Pulaski County Still Waiting for Medical Marijuana
Herbology, affiliated with Grassroots Cannabis of Chicago, is eager to open its outlet at 7303 Kanis Road. (Kerry Prichard)

Legal medical marijuana has yet to creep up on Little Rock.

Though 11 of 32 licensed dispensaries have opened across the state since May, selling more than $21 million worth of medical cannabis in six months, not one of the three retail sites approved for Pulaski County has opened.

The first to complete its building, Herbology at 7303 Kanis Road in Little Rock, predicted a Nov. 7 opening date when it held its sneak peek on Oct. 29. That date came and went, and now a December opening is the best case.

“I’ve had the flu and am at Walgreens to get some medicine,” Herbology General Manager Mykolas Sakevicius told Whispers on Nov. 26. “As of now, I don’t have an opening date to report.”

Scott Hardin, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration, which oversees medical marijuana regulation through its Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, said the state received a request for final inspection from Herbology in late October. “ABC Enforcement agents conducted an initial walk-through review of the facility,” Hardin said, allowing agents to point out “anything that may need to be addressed prior to the final inspection.”

After that, ABC told the dispensary that agents were ready to make a formal inspection at Herbology’s convenience.

The county’s two other dispensary companies, Natural State Wellness near Herbology and Natural Relief Dispensary in Sherwood, are still being completed and haven’t sought final inspections.

Since the first dispensary, Suite 443, opened in Hot Springs on May 10, Arkansas dispensaries had sold 3,098 pounds worth $21.35 million through Nov. 24, according to state figures.

Green Springs Medical in Hot Springs had top overall sales at 814.7 pounds of marijuana, followed by 385 pounds by Native Green Wellness of Hensley and the Releaf Center of Bentonville, which had sold 375.5 pounds.

Ownership Changes

Meanwhile, the state approved ownership changes for four dispensaries at a Nov. 13 meeting of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, including a transaction that completed a Mayflower family’s exit from the dispensary industry after complaints that the relatives didn’t detail their relationship as required in their original license applications.

Todd Sears sold his 100% stake in still unopened THC Rx outlet in West Memphis to Bart Christine of BTC Farms in Helena. Sears’ transaction followed decisions by his mother and father, Frankie and Don Sears, to sell their dispensary businesses. Don Sears sold Pain Free RX on Mallard Loop Road in Pine Bluff to Kyndall Lercher, a part-owner of the Bold Team cultivation center in Cotton Plant. Frankie Sears sold Suite 443, originally named Doctor’s Orders when it opened in May, to another Bold Team owner, Mark Drennan.

No financial details of the dispensary sales were revealed.

At Fiddler’s Green in Mountain View, Amanda Woods sold her 2.5% stake to majority owner Lisa Murphy, whose stake grew to 89%. Kent Thomas retains 11%.

At the yet-to-open Natural State Medical dispensary in Saline County, Charles Hart, Lisa Shahim, Sheri Collazo and Donna Mooney each acquired minority stakes from existing partners. Hart got 3% from Julie Hart, who was left with 2%; Shahim and Mooney got 5% apiece from Zada Adametz, whose stake went from 46% to 36%; Collazo acquired 6% from Melton Collazo, whose stake fell to 7%.

At The Source in Fayetteville, Colorado Sustainable, led by Conor Filter, sold its 5% stake to five other partners: MNF Consulting, led by Robert McLarty; D7 Holdings, led by Erik Danielson; Tullis Entertainment, led by Mike Tullis; ZJ Holdings, led by Jeff Starling; and Automated Capitol, led by Aaron Crawley and Mitchell Massey.