The state Medical Marijuana Commission considered licensing a fifth dispensary in Zone 6 at its meeting Tuesday but decided against it in a 3-2 vote.
Zone 6, which is made up of eight counties between Pulaski County and the Oklahoma border, has four dispensaries. The commission, which meets online due to the coronavirus pandemic, briefly discussed adding a new dispensary because customer demand has been high. Green Remedies of Hot Springs would have received the new license.
Operating in Zone 6 are Green Springs Medical and Suite 443 in Hot Springs, Hensley Wellness Center in Hensley and Custom Cannabis in Alexander.
Suite 443 and Green Springs were the first two dispensaries to open in the state; Green Springs has sold more than 3,000 pounds of medical marijuana, more than any other dispensary in the state.
Before the vote, the commissioners compared sales, number of patients and number of dispensaries in zones across the state. “Sounds like there is much more need in Zone 6 based on that information,” commission Chairwoman Dr. Rhonda Henry-Tillman said before the vote. Commissioner Justin Smith, who made the motion in favor of the additional license, said there was “obvious” need. “It makes sense to me to issue the license,” he said.
Henry-Tillman and Smith voted to license Green Remedies. Commissioners Travis Story, J.P. Mobley and Kevin Russell voted against issuing the new license.
There are 29 dispensaries operating in Arkansas, and eight more are working toward opening, according to commission spokesman Scott Hardin. He said in a Wednesday news release that Arkansans had spent $154 million to buy 24,067 pounds of medical marijuana since May 2019.
Green Springs, which opened May 12, 2019, has sold 3,191.45 pounds. The Releaf Center in Bentonville, which opened Aug. 7, 2019, has sold 2,693.36;