NEWS BRIEF

Arkansas awards five medical cannabis grow licenses, but sales still long way off

Arkansas awarded licenses to five marijuana cultivation companies after a court injunction suspending the licensing process was lifted.

The state’s Medical Marijuana Commission issued licenses to:

  • Natural State Medicinals Cultivation
  • Bold Team
  • Natural State Wellness Enterprises
  • Osage Creek Cultivation
  • Delta Medical Cannabis Co.

Each company paid a $100,000 license fee and a $500,000 performance bond.

With the issuance of those licenses, Arkansas has overcome a major hurdle in rolling out its MMJ program.

But the launch likely won’t happen until early 2019 at the soonest since regulators have yet to start reviewing dozens of dispensary applications.

The commission has received about 230 applications for 32 dispensary licenses and is considering hiring an independent consultant to assist reviewing them.

Regulators will review options for hiring the consultant, which will first require an emergency rule change, on July 12.

The move to hire a consultant was in part prompted by allegations of impropriety during the cultivation application process.

The court injunction halting licensing was issued in March by a county circuit judge who ruled that the award process violated the state’s 2016 constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana.

The state Supreme Court reversed the injunction decision last month, allowing the state to officially issue the licenses.

– Associated Press

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