Medical marijuana growers in Arkansas are planning to have cannabis products available for approved patients by spring of 2019. The state’s five licensed cannabis cultivators reported their progress at a meeting of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission on Wednesday.
Bold Team LLC of Woodruff County and Natural State Medicinals in Jefferson County told the commission that they should have product available by April. Osage Creek Cultivation LLC in Carroll County and Natural State Wellness Enterprises in Jefferson County both report that they hope to deliver product by the summer.
Cultivator Seeks New Location
Delta Medical Cannabis Company Inc. of Jackson County also reported it could deliver cannabis products by the summer if the company is able to solve problems with the location of its facility. The company is hoping to move from its current site near Arkansas State University Newport to a new one about a mile away. An unsuccessful applicant for a cultivation license is challenging Delta’s selection, asserting that the company’s location violates regulations prohibiting cannabis companies from locating near schools. The applicant’s protest comes despite a commission ruling that a college or university does not qualify as a school under the medical marijuana statute.
Don Parker, the president of Delta Medical Cannabis, said the move would cost the company more than $137,000.
“We are willing to pay this additional sum and close immediately in order to avoid possible further delays and get our business up and running in order to supply medical marijuana to Arkansans who need it and are qualified,” Parker said.
The state attorney general’s office has been asked to issue an opinion on commission’s definition of a school, but Parker said the company would rather move to the new site near a correctional facility instead of its current approved location.
“An opinion from the attorney general is just that: an opinion,” Parker said. “What we’re concerned with is that it won’t necessarily prevent future litigation. If there’s future litigation like we saw after the licenses were issued, there may well be a judge that would file an injunction and either stop us in the middle of construction or shut us down, pending a resolution of the lawsuit. We want to take as much risk off the table as we can and prevent any interruption in supplies.”
The commission voted 4-1 to wait for the opinion from the attorney general’s office, which could come as early as next week, before deciding whether to allow Delta Medical Cannabis to move.
At the next meeting of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission scheduled for Dec. 19, the successful applicants for the state’s 32 medicinal cannabis dispensary licenses are expected to be announced. Arkansas voters legalized medical marijuana in the election of Nov. 2016. So far, more than 6,400 Arkansans with serious medical conditions have been approved as medical marijuana patients.