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Arkansas medical marijuana dispensaries to be announced; growing centers making progress

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission announced the five top-scoring growing centers earlier this year.

Some of those centers plan to be ready in the next few months. Osage Creek Cultivation in Berryville is one of those centers.​

Matt Trulove, with Osage Creek Cultivation. said,“We are in the dry. All the walls are sheeted. The roof’s on and complete. Beginning all the interior work.”

They plan to finish construction March 1st.

Trulove said, “Then we’re anticipating a 90 day cycle from the approval process before medicine will be available or when we’re complete. So that will be a June 1 delivery date."

Commission members scored all the growing center applications, but a consulting firm is scoring the dispensaries.​


Arkansas startup unveils plans for state's first accredited cannabis lab

Arkansas’ first announced cannabis testing lab will hold an open house and dedication next week as the Natural State moves closer to entering the fast-growing medical marijuana industry that is now legal in 31 states.

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, Steep Hill Arkansas has scheduled an open house for its state-of-the-art cannabis testing lab at 11711 Hermitage Road, Suite 5, in Little Rock, from 5-7 p.m. Steven DeAngelo, co-founder of Harborside, Steep Hill Laboratory, the Arc View Group, the National Cannabis Industry Association and other cannabis-related businesses and organizations, will give the dedication speech at 6 p.m.


Arkansas medical marijuana growers to be ready by spring

Two of the businesses licensed by Arkansas to grow medical marijuana say they expect to have it available for dispensaries as soon as April.

Officials with the five licensed cultivation facilities updated the state Medical Marijuana Commission on Wednesday about their construction and growing timelines. Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in 2016.

Bold Team LLC and Natural State Medicinals told the panel they expected to have medical marijuana ready for dispensaries by April. Osage Creek Cultivation, Natural State Wellness Enterprises and Delta Medical Cannabis Co. expect to have theirs ready later in the summer. The commission delayed until Dec. 19 voting on Delta's request to move the site of its proposed facility.


Concern about the lack of a doctor to score Arkansas marijuana dispensary applications

A company hired to grade Arkansas medical marijuana dispensary applications says it can deliver scores to the state by the end of next month. But at a meeting Tuesday, the chair of the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission voiced concerns that no physicians are part of the scoring team.

Thomas Aldridge, a manager with Public Consulting Group, spoke with commissioners about the process to help decide who should get the 32 licenses for dispensaries that will be spread throughout the state. About 200 entities have submitted applications.


Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission wants AG's legal help

Arkansas' Medical Marijuana Commission wants the state attorney general's office to provide its legal advice instead of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

The commission has received legal guidance from ABC attorneys since it was formed in 2016. But the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the commission's chairwoman, Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, has asked Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office to provide legal counsel.

Several commission members have questioned the ABC staff's handling of medical marijuana cultivation license applications and raised concerns about communication between the commission and ABC staff.


Allegations of corruption abound in Arkansas cannabis licensing board

The road to medical marijuana in Arkansas has seen it's share of rough patches. And just when things looked like they were starting to turn around, allegations of corruption in the licensing selection process has started to come forward, writes Calvin Hughes.


Arkansas Supreme Court clears medical marijuana program blockade

In a major ruling for Arkansas’ medical marijuana program, the state’s Supreme Court threw out a ruling that effectively blocked Arkansas’ five approved cultivators from receiving licenses. Today’s Supreme Court decision should put an end to months of legal challenges from the losing applicants who argued the licensing process was unfair. And patients are hoping it means that Arkansas’ program can finally launch.


Scoring guides used by Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission members to rate pot growers varied

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission members used different scoring guides when ranking cannabis growing license applications earlier this year, and the scores that commissioners gave depended on which guide was used, according to information obtained from the commission.

The drug, legalized in 2016, remains unavailable in Arkansas. A circuit judge has barred the issuance of growing permits, finding fault in the commission's process for ranking marijuana cultivation applicants. That ruling has been appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court.


Arkansas justices to expedite medical-marijuana case

The Arkansas Supreme Court has agreed to speed up its review of a ruling that has halted the issuance of the state’s first medical-marijuana growing licenses.

The high court set an expedited briefing schedule in an order on Wednesday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The final pleading is set to be submitted May 30.Arkansas appealed Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen’s order, which has also stopped the Medical Marijuana Commission’s review of more than 220 medical-marijuana dispensary applications.

Griffen had ruled in favor of the unsuccessful permit applicant Naturalis Health LLC, finding that the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission’s process for scoring the 98 cultivation-license applications was flawed and unconstitutional.


Arkansas pauses marijuana dispensary applications' review

Arkansas officials have halted their evaluation of applications to sell medical marijuana after a judge struck down the state’s licensing process for businesses that want to grow the drug.

A spokesman for the Department of Finance and Administration on Wednesday said the Medical Marijuana Commission’s review of dispensary applications has been put on hold in response to last month’s ruling regarding cultivation facilities.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled the state’s licensing process for the cultivation facilities violated a 2016 voter-approved amendment legalizing medical marijuana.

The state has appealed Griffen’s ruling to the Arkansas Supreme Court.


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