Medical Marijuana Sales in Arkansas Set to Start Mid-May

High Times

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With the harvest of the state’s first legal cannabis crop just days away, sales of medical marijuana in Arkansas should begin in mid-May, according to government regulators. Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin said on Friday that a dispensary in Hot Springs should receive final approval for its license to sell medical marijuana within the next two weeks and a second retailer in the city should be inspected in about a week. Eventually, there will be 32 licensed dispensaries to serve the state.

“Dispensaries across the state are in varying stages of development,” said Hardin. “There are a few that will be ready for final inspection over the next month to two months, while others are working to break ground. … Enforcement agents are prepared to inspect each facility and remain available to each dispensary to answer any questions throughout the process.”

Dragan Vicentic, the CEO of the Green Springs Medical cannabis dispensary in Hot Springs, said that the shop should receive final approval in time to open in early May. He said that he is already receiving about 25 phone calls a day from patients anxious to learn when the dispensary will open.

“We’re going to hit the ground running as soon as [Alcoholic Beverage Control] approves our facility,” Vicentic said.

First Harvest Next Week

Robert Lercher, a customer relations official with cannabis cultivator Bold Team, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the company should be harvesting its first crop on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. The flowers will then be dried, cured, trimmed, and packaged before being sent to dispensaries during the second week of May. Lercher said that based on projections from consultants, the company was expecting to harvest about 200 pounds of medical marijuana from its first harvest.

“This process is new to us,” he said. “We’re basically just going off other people’s projections.”

Two other companies that have been licensed to grow cannabis,
Osage Creek Cultivation of Berryville and Natural State Medicinals Cultivation of White Hall, have begun operations but have not said when they expect to make their initial harvest. The final two cultivators to receive state approval are still constructing their facilities and have not yet begun to grow plants.

Arkansas voters legalized the medicinal use of cannabis in 2016 and over 10,000 patients have already registered for the program. If that many patients were to buy the maximum 2.5 ounces of cannabis allowed, Lercher says the initial crop could last only two weeks.

“But who knows how many people are going to get it and if they’re going to get their full allotment?” Lercher said.

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