Arkansas marijuana commission takes step to award final dispensary licenses – Arkansas Times


The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission unanimously decided Thursday to choose the state’s final two dispensaries from a list of expired applications rather than initiate a new application process if the governor’s office and a legislative committee sign off on the process.

The new dispensaries will be located in Zones 6 and 8, which have only four dispensaries each. The state’s other zones have five dispensaries each.

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Based on previous scoring, the next applicants in line to receive licenses are Green Remedies Group of Garland County in Zone 6 and T&C Management of Texarkana in Zone 8. A legislative committee and the governor’s office will need to sign off on a rule change to allow the commission to use the existing applications, which expired earlier this year.

The process for changing the rules could take months, putting the timeline for issuing the remaining licenses late this year or early next year, commission spokesman Scott Hardin said.

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“The fastest process anytime is always going to be to stay within the existing rules,” Hardin said. “When we get into changing the rules, this is simply the required steps by state law.”

A state constitutional amendment, approved by voters in 2016, allows for a maximum of 40 dispensaries. There are currently 36 open dispensaries in the state and two more that are licensed but not yet open.

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Zone 6 is made up of eight counties in west central Arkansas, while Zone 8 is made up of 14 counties in southwest Arkansas.

Using the existing applications will require a rule change, since the applications have expired. The commission accepted applications in 2017 and awarded the first licenses on Jan. 9, 2019. The applications that did not receive permits were held in reserve until they expired in February of this year.

Upon expiration of the applications, the

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