BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — Arkansas Medicinal Source Patient Center is the first dispensary in Northwest Arkansas to reach out to the state alcohol control board for an inspection, the final hurdle a dispensary must clear before opening.
Scott Hardin, a spokesman for Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), said if AMS Patient Center clears inspection, the dispensary's owners will determine when it opens.
"The inspection will be conducted as soon as possible, with the date to be determined by dispensary owners and ABC," Hardin said.
The dispensary, formerly known as Walton Boulevard Wine & Spirits at 406 Razorback Road in Bentonville, has been undergoing a renovation.
Owner Eric Danielson said in June the remodeling project got behind schedule due to some delays in getting a permit from the city.
“We're just really excited to get open. We appreciate the state trusting us to run a top-notch facility and we look forward to showing the community and the state how it can be done right," Danielson said in June.
Danielson didn't immediately respond to a message Tuesday (July 9), but has said he plans to open sometime this summer.
An inspection covers all structural, security and software aspects of the dispensary, according to Doralee Chandler, ABC director.
Once a dispensary passes inspection, Chandler will issue a letter authorizing the initiation of operations.
Chandler said last month ABC's goal is to "authorize the dispensaries to initiate operations immediately upon receipt of satisfactory assurances they can provide quality services to the resident of the State of Arkansas."
The dispensaries are spread across eight zones. NWA is in Zone 1, which includes Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties.
More than 100 pounds of medical marijuana have been sold in Garland County, which is in Zone 6, since opening in May, according to the Associated Press.
Voters approved a medical marijuana amendment in 2016, but the process to get legal medical marijuana running was plagued with controversies and allegations of corruption, the AP reported.
While more than 10,000 medical marijuana cards have been issued to qualifying patients in Arkansas, roughly 3.5% of the population of Oklahoma has enrolled in its medical marijuana program.
The AP reported Oklahoma's participation rate is among the top of the 33 states that have legalized medical marijuana.
Despite voters approving the program in June 2018, the state has reported more than $7.2 million in sales in February alone, according to the AP.
Arkansas residents seeking a registry card must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older or be a minor patient with parental consent.
- Be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition
- Have the official written certification from a physician.
- Be an Arkansas resident with proof of residency. (AR Driver’s License or AR State ID card).
- State law prohibits members of Arkansas National Guard and United States Military from obtaining a registry ID card.