Arkansas OKs second medical cannabis grower as market launch nears

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(This story has been updated to correct the amount of marijuana that dispensaries will be allowed to sell each patient.)

Arkansas regulators approved a second cultivation facility and said they expect to start final inspections of dispensaries by early April as the launch of the state’s medical marijuana program nears.

“We anticipate a limited number of dispensaries – less than five – may be open and selling product by the end of April,” Scott Hardin, spokesman for the Arkansas MMJ program, wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

“The industry should really begin to take off as we enter late spring and summer,” he added.

Here are the latest details on the program:
  • Osage Creek Cultivation in Carroll County became the second cultivator granted approval from the state to begin growing plants. Final approval is expected later this week for a third cultivator, Natural State Medicinals Cultivation, located in Jefferson County.
  • Bold Team in Cotton Plant (Woodruff County) began growing in early January. In all, state regulators have licensed five cultivators.
  • Patients were allowed to begin activating their medical marijuana cards in mid-February in anticipation of a possible late April launch. There currently are 7,640 approved patients, according to Hardin. Each will be allowed to purchase 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana every 14 days.
  • State regulators licensed 32 dispensaries in early February. These businesses must pass a final inspection before opening. While state regulators say they expect to begin final inspections by April, some dispensaries will take longer to open since they are building from the ground up.