ARKANSAS (KFSM) — The Medical Marijuana Commission admits it's frustrated half of the state’s dispensaries still haven’t opened for businesses.
There are a total of 32 licensed dispensaries in the natural state and 16 are still not open for business, two of those are in Clarksville and Morrilton.
“They’ve received a license last January and very often they’ve committed to opening in six to eight months and yet we still haven’t seen half the dispensaries open and as a commission, we’re just concerned about that as we approach renewal time,” said Travis Story, medical marijuana commissioner.
Story says in March and April they will meet with the owners of dispensaries and cultivation facilities to decide if they will renew their license for another year. This includes those dispensaries that haven’t opened for business.
“They’ll actually come before the commission and tell us, if they aren’t open we are going to need to know why they aren’t open and understand what the process is or the problem is and that will be a big consideration in how the commission actually moves forward,” Story said.
Scott Hardin with the Department of Finance and Administration says the commission could decide to not renew the licenses for these unopened dispensaries if they don’t think there is a good reason for the delay.
“The question is do we chose to not renew one of these licenses and just simply move down the list and award that license to the next in line that would obviously be grateful to have it and hopefully move quickly,” Hardin said.
The Medical Marijuana Commission will meet again in two weeks to finalize the form that will go out to the dispensaries for renewing licenses.
This week, two dispensaries opened in Texarkana. Arkansas medical marijuana patients have spent $32 million on the medicine since the first dispensary opened.
The department of finance and administration anticipates the number to reach $100 million annually once all 32 dispensaries are open.