Arkansas readies medical cannabis application process

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission is close to finalizing the details governing new business license applications to cultivate and sell MMJ, including how the agency plans to score permit applicants.

The application period begins in June. And the five sections contained in the applications will be scored on a 100-point system, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The commission set the same standards for cultivator and dispensary licenses on how much weight will be given to each of the five general sections of the 100-point application, according to the newspaper.

The biggest portion of the applications, worth 50 points, focuses on ability to operate a facility in line with laws and regulations.

Another section, on financial resources, is worth 15 points. Applicants could also earn up to 10 bonus points for other optional merits, such as minority-group ownership, association with a medical doctor or pharmacist, and providing programs beneficial to the community.

Many details remain to be ironed out – the agency still is debating the merit-based portion of the process, for example – so a final draft of the applications won’t be approved until next week, the Democrat-Gazette reported.

After it begins next month, the application period will run 90 days. The commissioners previously announced they would license five cultivation sites and up to 32 dispensaries. An attorney for the state has estimated that MMJ sales could start before January 2018, the newspaper reported.