The infrastructure of Arkansas’s medical marijuana program could grow by early next year, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration.
So far, eight of the state's 32 licensed dispensaries are open, and three of five cultivators are producing product. DFA spokesman Scott Hardin said the two licensed cultivation facilities that have yet to open, Delta Medical Cannabis Co. and Natural State Wellness Enterprises, both in Newport, should be operating by the end of the year.
"We likely will inspect those over the next month or two. We do expect both of those will be growing by the end of the year, so we think the inspection, probably the first will take place over the next month and then by the end of the year, we'll have all five growing," Hardin said.
Hardin said a slate of marijuana dispensaries will open by the end of the year, with the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division prepared to "take action" if that is not the case.
"That could range from a fine and probation to license revocation, but at least that conversation is taking place," Hardin said.
So far this year, the state's eight functioning dispensaries have sold over 900 pounds of marijuana, topping over $6 million in sales.
Potentially the next dispensary to open in the state, Acanza in Fayetteville, is set to be inspected by ABC on Sept. 3. Hardin says no other inspection dates have been set, but that one of two facilities set to open in Little Rock could feasibly open "soon."
Of the dispensaries currently operating in Arkansas, two are in Hot Springs, two in Bentonville, one in Clinton, one in Hensley, one in Helena-West Helena and one in Mountain View.