The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has advanced rule changes that would allow the state to issue its two remaining dispensary licenses, possibly in January.
Spokesman Scott Hardin said the rule changes advanced Thursday would allow the commission to issue licenses to companies that initially applied in 2017 and had applications that remained active until earlier this year, when they expired.
“Due to this, the rule change is required to reactivate the applications,” Hardin said in an email. “The rule change will allow the licenses to be issued to the ‘next in line’ in both Zone 6 and Zone 8 based on previous scoring.”
Hardin said the rule changes must now be reviewed by the Legislative Council and approved by the governor’s office.
“Additionally, a public comment period is required,” he said in an email. “This process normally takes approximately three months to complete all required steps. As a result, we anticipate the two remaining licenses (one in Zone 6, one in Zone 8) will be issued in early January if the rules are successfully adopted.”
At their meeting July 21, commissioners noted that there were few dispensaries in the southwestern portion of the state relative to the number of patients in the region.
Zone 6 covers Scott, Polk, Montgomery, Garland, Perry, Saline, Hot Spring and Grant counties. Green Remedies Group, which is next in line for Zone 6, proposes to put a dispensary in Garland County, outside any city limits.
Zone 8 covers Howard, Sevier, Little River, Hempstead, Miller, Nevada, Lafayette, Columbia, Union, Ouachita, Calhoun, Clark and Dallas counties. The next in line for Zone 8 is T&C Management, which plans to put a dispensary in Texarkana in Miller County.
The Medical Marijuana Commission decided in August to use a reserve list to award the two unassigned dispensary licenses and