The High Cost Of Cannabusiness In Arkansas

Arkansas fees - medical cannabis cultivation
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Medical marijuana growers wanting to get in on the ground level in Arkansas, USA will need to be well cashed up.

Arkansas voters supported legalizing medical marijuana for 17 conditions in elections last November, with 53.17% voting in favour of Issue 6 – The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016.

Since that time, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has been set up to create rules concerning medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities.

According to ArkansasOnline, the Commission decided on fees for growers this week – and they aren’t going to impress everyone.

Cultivators will have to pony up USD $100,000 a year to operate a facility, but that’s not all. Applicants will also be required to have a $1 million bond or assets worth $1 million; plus be able to show $500,000 in cash liquidity. To top it all off, they’ll also need $15,000 just to apply.

Two inaugural members of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Counsel had very different ideas as to how high annual fees should be. Dr. J. Carlos Roman M.D. proposed $15,000 and Travis W. Story, Esq. proposed $185,000. So, a compromise was made.

“The thing that we’re requiring is substantial proof that they are financially able to pull this off because the last thing we want them doing is finding secondary sources of financing from groups and individuals that are less reputable,” said Mr. Story.

Fees for dispensaries are yet to be set.

Other rules and regulations for the state’s medicinal marijuana program are still being drafted. After this is done, the general public will have an opportunity to review and comment.

While Arkansas may have been the first “Bible Belt” state to approve medical cannabis, it could still be quite some time before medicines are legally available. Once they are, medicines will only be obtainable from between 20 and 40 dispensaries state-licensed dispensaries. Patients will require a state-issued registry card from the Department of Health and will be permitted to purchase no more than 2.5 ounces every two weeks.

State and local taxes will be applicable on the sale of medical marijuana, revenue from which will be used to offset costs associated with administering the program and towards various state workforce and educational programs.