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Five Licensed Facilities In Arkansas Pay Required Fees To Grow Medical Marijuana

Credit npr.org

The five companies selected to cultivate medical marijuana in Arkansas should soon be able to set up shop and begin growing. Scott Hardin, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance and Administration, said Friday that since the top companies were named last week by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, all have met their  required financial obligations.

"Over the past week we’ve been receiving the licensing fees from the companies, we’ve been receiving the performance bonds, and as of this morning, all five companies have paid," Hardin said.

Licenses will formally be issued at the commission’s next meeting on Wednesday, he said.

The next step in implementing the voter-approved program will be going through applications for entities that have applied for 227 dispensary licenses. He said the same scoring process will be used, which redacts information that could identify the companies or people involved, so that no favoritism happens in the process.

"Right now we don’t have a formal date that the licenses will be announced, we’re thinking likely May, maybe June, in that time frame though, just simply because there’s so much information to get through with these applications that, in many cases, are thousands of pages," Hardin said.

So far, he says the process is working out to meet a goal set by the commission for getting marijuana to people with qualifying medical conditions.

"Hopefully this is all lining up with the timeline to have products on the shelves possible by the end of this year."

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