In state, sales of cannabis top $6M – Arkansas Online


Arkansas medical marijuana sales have eclipsed $6.04 million, the state reported last week, three months after the drug debuted in the Natural State.

In total, more than 800 pounds of cannabis has been legally sold by Arkansas’ eight operating dispensaries since the first retailer opened in early May, according to the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division. The agency regulates the medical marijuana program.

Arkansas’ sales figures have continued to outpace even larger states when their medical cannabis programs were starting.

In July, the state collected $91,213 from the special 4% privilege tax levied on medical marijuana transactions and $77,358 from regular sales tax on the drug, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration.

While the program has taken off, only one-fourth of the state’s licensed dispensaries have opened in the six months since the permits were issued.

“As we approach the fourth month of dispensaries in operation, we will soon reach 1,000 total pounds of product sold across the state,” Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Doralee Chandler said. “While we are exceedingly pleased to see patients served, our focus remains providing the remaining 24 dispensaries the support and encouragement to begin serving patients as soon as possible. Every patient deserves close, convenient access to a dispensary as this was the reason four locations were licensed in each of the state’s eight zones. ABC is prepared to take action in January 2020 should any dispensaries not be operational or in the final stages of preparation. We expect fall to be a busy time for Arkansas’ medical marijuana program.”

[RELATED: See complete Democrat-Gazette coverage of medical marijuana in Arkansas at arkansasonline.com/marijuana]

The first dispensary opened May 10, more than two years after Arkansas voted to legalize medical marijuana by approving Amendment 98 to the Arkansas Constitution in November 2016.

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