Grower applications to remain active, Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission decides


The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission voted Thursday to keep cultivation applications active for 24 months in case one of the five companies awarded a grower's license surrenders the license or has it revoked. The commission also kept 90 applications active in case they want to award three additional licenses available to the runner-ups.

The vote comes after cultivation licenses were awarded to the top five applicants Tuesday. The companies include Natural State Medicinals Cultivation, Bold Team, LLC, Natural State Wellness Enterprises, Osage Creek Cultivation and Delta Medical Cannabis Company, Inc.

The state Supreme Court last month reversed a lower court decision that had prevented Arkansas from awarding the licenses.

The panel also approved a rule Thursday that would allow it to hire an outside consultant to help review and score hundreds of dispensary applications the state has received from groups that want to sell medical marijuana. The panel can award 32 licenses under a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana. Another rule approved by the commission, if a tie occurs when scoring the dispensary applications they will have a double-blind lottery to break the tie.

The MMC meets again on July 25th. In the meantime the Alcoholic Beverage Control, the state agency assisting the MMC, will draw up bidding plan requirements to present to lawmakers next week in a committee meeting in the case the commission wants to move forward with hiring a consulting group for dispensary applications. As part of the state's procurement rules and process, the consulting group with the lowest bid will be hired to assist the commission.

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