Bonds, cash required for pot-growing dispensaries – Baxter Bulletin


Marijuana plant(Photo: File)

A dispensary that grows its own medical marijuana will be required to have a $100,000 performance bond, a $200,000 surety bond and $100,000 in liquid assets, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission decided Wednesday in Little Rock.

The commission is charged with drafting and supervising the state’s fledgling medical marijuana program, which was established by the voter-approved Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. Under that amendment, Arkansans with a certifiable medical condition will be eligible to purchase 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days from dispensaries stocked from in-state cultivation facilities.

Last month, the commission voted to differentiate between dispensaries that will simply sell marijuana and those that will grow a limited numbers of plants on site with a two-tiered system of application and licensing fees. The commission has yet to decide what kind of bond/asset requirements are needed for a dispensary that does not grow marijuana.

The commission will award licenses for 32 dispensaries and five cultivation facilities later this year.

On Wednesday, commissioners agreed to issue cultivation licenses on a merit-based system, rather than a lottery system. Dispensary licenses will be awarded using both a merit-based system and a lottery draw, with the 32 licenses being split evenly across eight multicounty regions.

Hopeful medical marijuana growers are required to have a $500,000 in liquid assets and a $1 million bond or assets valued at $1 million to apply for a cultivation license. In addition, cultivators must post a $500,000 cash or surety bond that would be paid to the state if the facility fails before it opens. Cultivators will also pay a $100,000 yearly licensing fee.

Applicants for a cultivation license must pay a $15,000 application fee, with half that amount being refunded if the application is not approved.

Would-be dispensary owners wishing

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