The medical marijuana system in Arkansas has been moving at a snail’s pace. After opening the door for applications to grow and dispense cannabis on June 30, the state didn’t receive a single one for a month and a half.
The silence, at least, is over. As of yesterday, two would-be dispensaries have applied for licenses, and the state Department of Health has approved nearly 800 medical marijuana registry identification cards. But according to Arkansas news website Talk Business & Politics, the commission has yet to receive any applications to grow the plant.
Applications—the state is accepting bids for five cultivators and up to 32 dispensary operators—must be delivered to the commission by Sept. 18, at which point applicants must submit a $15,000 fee. Applicants must also provide proof of assets or a surety bond in the amount of $1 million, along with proof of at least $500,000 in liquid assets, according to Talk Business.
Despite the small number of applications received, state Rep. Doug House (R-North Little Rock) said he expects a mad rush as the deadline nears. He said he’s had conversations with several investor groups planning to seek cultivation and dispensary licenses.
“I think there is going to be a mad rush on the last day,” House told municipal officials at the Arkansas Association of Counties (AAC) in Little Rock earlier this month.
House has been a supporter of medical marijuana bills in Arkansas. The Republican lawmaker sponsored more than 50 medical marijuana bills approved by the Legislature this spring.
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