February 28, 2018, Arkansas
Through public ballot, Arkansas approved a detailed MMJ legalization bill in 2016 in the form of Amendment 98. All through 2017, the state regulators remained busy in devising regulations and review guidelines for the retail and cultivation facades of legalized MMJ operations.
State’s department of health has already enrolled more than 4000 patients, who have qualifying medical conditions according to the MMJ legislation. With all these patients waiting to get their MMJ products, the state has started to license eligible cannabis cultivators from this week.
However, the budding MMJ program of Arkansas might face some legal impediments and it would be a challenge for the authorities to deal with it.
From Tuesday, the state’s Medical Cannabis Commission has started to announce the cultivators who have succeeded in getting the growing license in the first phase. As per media reports, for now, Arkansas has allowed five cultivation establishments to legally grow MMJ in the state.
Once the process of awarding licenses to the growing facilities is done, the commission will move forward with reviewing the prospective retailers who will be allowed to legally sell MMJ products. According to Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, around 30 MMJ dispensaries will be approved in next three months.
If things go as planned then the registered MMJ patients in the state will be able to lawfully purchase marijuana by early summers. But state might face a legal overwork in coming days because not all the growers and retailers who have applied for licensing are going to get it. And this dejected lot of businesses may legally move against the Arkansas administration.
As per the state’s MMJ commissioner, they have received over 90 applications for the opening of cultivation establishments and only a fraction of them have succeeded in satisfying the commission. The application fees to get the growing licensing is very high and the ventures who haven’t made the cut want the refund. Some of them are even contemplating to go to courts against the state.
The money involved all through the licensing process is a large sum. Submitting an application to get growing license costs $1500 dollars and if the application gets approved then the business has to further deposit $100,000 to the commission. Aside from it, the prolongation and complexity of the process also require growing establishments to avail the services of consultants and legal experts.
So, it is only natural for the businesses that have failed to get the license even after spending such hefty amount of money to sue the state. Even though the state has a refund policy for failed candidates, but many of the growers are not satisfied with its formula.
On the other hand, there is also an argument in favor of state’s rigorous licensing process. Some experts of the industry and even growers are of the belief that all these measure are taken up to ensure that the patients are going to have their medical needs fulfilled with reasonable and high quality MMJ products.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]