Sales increase in Arkansas as the sixth medical cannabis grow permit is awarded

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Patients of all ages and with various types of qualifying conditions are regularly signing up to receive medical cannabis in Arkansas, where the market has harvested close to $100 million one year post-launch. 

In an attempt to keep up with the ever-growing consumer demographic, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has approved cultivation license number six. The license was awarded on June 16 to Carpenter Farms Medical Group — a company based in Grady.

Medical cannabis patients in Arkansas will be happy to hear about the awarding of a sixth license, since it means that there will be more of the plant to go around. At the current time, just three cultivators are actively selling their products. A harvest is expected from two more growers in the near future. 

The commission awarded a sixth license to Carpenter following a lawsuit settlement agreement. Before scooping the license, the minority-owned company had been disqualified for submitting a flawed application, despite ranking sixth in the license scoring process. In its suit, the company argued that it made similar typographical errors to non-disqualified competitor applicants. 

Lawmakers think additional license will reduce cost of medical cannabis in Arkansas

The average cost of high-quality cannabis in Arkansas is estimated to be around $330.08. While this cost might be affordable for some people, the expense is not within reach for others. In many cases, enrolled medical cannabis patients are venturing across the border to purchase cheaper products from Oklahoma, where the plant was made available to patients following the voter approval of State Question 788 on June 26, 2018.

Numerous lawmakers have acknowledged this fact and say that it is a good reason to award a sixth license. After all, more growers means that patients can pay less for a steady supply of their medicine. However, not everybody supports the idea of awarding a sixth company with a license for growing medical cannabis in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Association objected to the move; officials say a sixth license is unnecessary. According to members of the Association, the existing load being churned out by five licensed growers is sufficient to meet demand.

Daily average expenditure of medical cannabis in Arkansas exceeds $500,000 

As of June 12, 60,268 people had enrolled in the state-commissioned program for medical cannabis in Arkansas. This is an increase from the enrollment figure recorded back on January 17, when 35,000 Arkansans were in possession of a medical cannabis ID card.

The rise in enrollment for medical cannabis in Arkansas has contributed to a surge in sales revenue for the state. Spokesperson for the Medical Marijuana Commission, Scott Hardin, confirmed that the most recent total rests at “more than $100 million.” 

Hardin gets his information from the latest report published by the Medical Marijuana Commission, which shows that revenue figures through June 25 came in at around $99.16 million. This report also confirmed that patients had purchased a staggering 15,838 pounds of medical cannabis since the program’s launch in May 2019.

Of the state’s licensed dispensaries, the top-selling retail stores racked up an impressive amount of sales: Suite 443 in Hot Springs, sold 834.97 pounds since it’s launch date on Friday, May 10; Green Springs Medical in Hot Springs, which sold 2,774.87 pounds of medical cannabis in Arkansas since opening on Sunday, May 12; Arkansas Natural Products in Clinton, which managed to shift 388.39 pounds of medical cannabis since the business started welcoming customers on Thursday, June 20.