Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Cultivation Facilities Application Process

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Right around the corner, applications will be available to grow and sell medical marijuana in the Natural State.

The online applications go live June 20 on the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission’s (MMC) website, and applicants can start submitting them June 30.

Here’s what it takes to apply for a license:
For dispensaries, it’s $7,500 per application. A total of 32 licenses can be awarded in eight different zones, four per zone. Applicants can submit one for every zone.
For cultivation facilities, it’s $15,000 per application. A total of five licenses can be awarded statewide.
Applicants whose submissions are not accepted will only get half of the fee back. The rest will fund commission operations.

At its last meeting, the MMC voted to limit the applicants to a 25-page submission packet with an unlimited amount of addendums to back it up.

Once the application period closes in mid-September, commissioners will score applicants based on merit out of 100 points.

“They’ll be doing it anonymously,” said Jake Bleed, the spokesperson for the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division. “They don’t know whose application they’re looking at. They’ll be grading it objectively.”

One of the applicants, who hopes to open a cultivation facility in Pine Bluff, said he’s been preparing for this moment since voters approved the constitutional amendment in November.

“We haven’t been able to see the application yet so basically we’ve just been assigning tasks,” said Bill Rector. “There’s a three-month window to get this thing in so we’re not going to submit the application on the first day.”

Rector is working with a local partner and several others from California, Washington and Colorado to become one of the first five Arkansans to grow medical marijuana.

“My guess is there’s going to be 30 applications for five licenses,” Rector said. “So sure, I’m worried.”

Bleed believes commissioners will award licenses in late fall, which means Arkansans could be able to buy medical marijuana before the end of the year.

The ABC is in charge of inspecting the facilities, among other things related to the enforcement of medical marijuana. To do that, Bleed said the agency is hiring six new enforcement agents, two administration staff and another attorney.

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