After Weeks of Waiting, Arkansas Receives MMJ Dispensary Applications

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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.

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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.

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“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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