Marijuana growing licenses issued

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission (AMMC) awarded five cultivation licenses Tuesday after the formal lifting of an injunction that had halted the issuance of licenses.

Osage Creek Cultivation in Carroll County is one of the cultivation companies to receive a license. The other licensees are Natural State Medicinals Cultivation of Jefferson County, Bold Team LLC of Woodruff County, Natural State Wellness Enterprises of Jefferson and Jackson counties and Delta Medical Cannabis Company Inc. of Jackson County.

According to a press release from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, the rules established by AMMC require cultivation licenses be issued upon the companies paying the $100,000 license fee and posting a $500,000 performance bond. With each company completing these requirements and the injunction lifted, the release says each of the five companies received formal notification Tuesday through a letter along with a physical copy of the cultivation license.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffin had issued a preliminary injunction on March 21, barring the AMMC from issuing the five cannabis cultivation licenses.

Among the rule violations, Griffen’s order states, was a failure by the commission to verify that the primary entrance for any of the 95 cultivation facility applicants was at least 3,000 feet from any public or private school, church or daycare that existed before the date of the applications, as required by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016.

Griffen also notes some potential conflicts of interest. The order states that commissioner Travis Story of the MMC has served as both an attorney and an officer in business entities for Jay and Mary Trulove, who have ownership interests in Osage Creek Cultivation.

The Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the ruling on June 21, allowing the AMMC to proceed with awarding cultivation licenses.

There are currently no licensed dispensaries. According to the agenda for the AMMC’s meeting on Thursday, July 12, the commission would discuss hiring an independent consultant to assist in reviewing and scoring the applications for the 32 dispensary licenses. This will first require an emergency rule change.

The agenda says the AMMC would also confirm Thursday that complaints and protests concerning cultivation license holders have been turned over to the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Enforcement for investigation and, if warranted, judgment by ABC pursuant to Amendment 98, which legalized medical marijuana in Arkansas, and ABC regulations.

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