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City officials vote no on Russellville medical marijuana special permit

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. - The Russellville City Council will not award a special permit for a medical marijuana dispensary proposed in the River Valley. 

Thursday evening the city council discussing a hot topic, whether to allow a medical marijuana dispensary along South Arkansas Avenue. 

"If this location is good enough for a pharmacy, it is good enough for our product. That's what the constitution says and that's what state law says," a representative with 420 RX told the board. 

420 RX has already been approved by the state to open in this area. The next step is it needs a special permit granted by city leaders. 

"Mind you, people would come from all over, but our job is to protect and do the best we can for the people of Russellville," council member Rick Harrell said. 

Ultimately the vote came down to a 4-4 tie, forcing the mayor to decide whether to vote for the dispensary, and let it pass, or not vote at all and withhold the permit. 

"As your mayor, I will not cast a vote on this issue because it's so divided and I will let the council make the decision on this," Mayor Richard Harris said. 

Some in the community are not happy with the decision. 

"The voters made their decision, emotional or not, the voters made their decision," Drew Brent said. 

City leaders are sticking to what they believe in. 

"I don't think medical marijuana is advantageous to the City of Russellville," Harrell said. 

Officials with 420 RX will not give up and they plan to appeal.

"If there isn't a problem with a Walgreens or CVS, there shouldn't be issue with our dispensary or our product going into this location." 

Another city council member says he voted against it because other business owners in the area expressed concern with this type of business moving in. 

Officials with 420 RX say they are disappointed in this decision and they do plan to open a facility in Pope County. 


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