AR: Jefferson County Adds Second Marijuana Facility

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Natural State Wellness Enterprises, one of five businesses last week to be awarded a license from the state to operate a medical marijuana cultivation facility, will operate out of Pine Bluff, the Arkansas Times reported Monday afternoon.

Natural State Wellness had faced a choice in operating a cultivation facility in either Jefferson County or Jackson County when it was awarded a cultivation license on Feb. 27 by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.

The commission scored 95 applications and had awarded cultivation permits to Natural State Medicinals, Bold Team LLC, Osage Creek Cultivation, Delta Medical Cannabis Company and Natural State Wellness, whose applications for marijuana farms in Jefferson County and Jackson County had received tying scores.

State law allows businesses to own a single cultivation facility and a single dispensary, forcing Natural State Wellness to decide where it wanted to set up its operations.

Natural State Wellness’ decision to locate in Pine Bluff will locate two of the state’s five marijuana growers in Jefferson County.

Natural State Medicinals will be located in rural Jefferson County at Interstate 530 at Gravel Pit Road, about halfway between Redfield and White Hall. Natural State Wellness will be located inside the City of Pine Bluff.

Bold Team LLC plans to open a cultivation facility in Cotton Plant, located in Woodruff County. Osage Creek Cultivation plans to grow marijuana in Carroll County’s Berryville and Delta Medical Cannabis plans to open its marijuana farm in Newport, located in Jackson County.

The five would-be marijuana entrepreneurs are required to pay a $100,000 licensing fee and post a $500,000 performance bond. If a selected business fails to provide either item, its cultivation license would then be awarded to (in order) River Valley Relief Cultivation of Fort Smith; New Day Cultivation of Hot Springs; Southern Roots of Jacksonville; Delta Cannabinoid Corp. Inc. of Marianna; and Clinice LLC of Elkins.

The only cultivation facility application in the Twin Lakes Area came from rural Izard County’s Plant Family Medical Ventures LLC, which was not awarded a license.

The Marijuana Commission will meet again in on March 14 to officially certify the state’s five cultivation facilities. After that, its next step will be to review the 227 pending applications for marijuana dispensaries and announce which 32 businesses will be awarded those permits. That announcement is expected in late spring or early summer.

Dispensary applications will be graded on a 100-point scale, with the dispensaries being distributed evenly across eight geographical regions.

Zone 2 includes Baxter, Boone, Cleburne, Fulton, Izard, Marion, Newton, Searcy, Stone and Van Buren counties. The commission received a total of 18 dispensary applications for the 10-county zone, with Newton County being the only county to not have a dispensary application.

Marijuana business applications for the Twin Lakes Area include dispensary applications for Greener Findings LLC and Plant Family Therapeutics LLC, both in Mountain Home; River Valley Releaf in Flippin; 23 LLC and New Leaf Cannabis Company LLC, both in Harrison; Piney Creek Mercantile, LLC in Melbourne; Alternative Care of Arkansas in Ash Flat; and Arkansas Green Cross Cannabis Dispensary LLC in Salem.

In Arkansas, qualifying patients will be able to buy up to 2.5 ounces of usable medical marijuana every two weeks. The Arkansas Department of Health has approved 4,116 applications for marijuana registry cards, and another 244 applications are pending. The cards, which will be required to purchase medical marijuana, will be issued a month before dispensaries open.