Medical cannabis sales in Arkansas top $143 million


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Retailers participating in Arkansas’ nascent medical cannabis industry have recorded more than $143 million in transactions since sales kicked off in May 2019. Based on sales data, this revenue was harvested from customers buying 22,350 pounds of medical cannabis within the space of a year and a half.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission (AMMC) recently announced that the state’s registered patients of which there are around 80,000 and counting are splashing out approximately $600,000 on a daily basis.

The AMMC also noted that the following dispensaries are storming ahead with the most medical cannabis sales in Arkansas:

  • Hot Springs-based Green Springs Medical sold 3,130 pounds of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis since May 12, 2019.
  • Bentonville-based ReLeaf Center sold 2,522 pounds of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis since Aug. 7, 2019.
  • Fayetteville-based Acanza sold 1,714 pounds of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis since Sept. 14, 2019.

“With 29 dispensaries in operation, this is an average of $20,689 spent daily at each dispensary,” said spokesperson for the commission, Scott Hardin, in an email to Marijuana Business Daily reporters.

Tax revenue from medical cannabis sales in Arkansas will benefit cancer patients

Since the first dispensary opened its doors in Arkansas over 16 months ago, sales have bulked up state tax revenue to the amount of $13 million. Thanks to this tax revenue growth, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will soon bag its coveted cancer institute designation.

UAMS announced in July of last year that it was pushing to gain a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation for the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, where more than 150,000 cancer-stricken patients are treated on an annual basis. Using cannabis tax revenue to fund a designated center will grant Arkansas patients access to innovative therapies and clinical trials. 

Moreover, NCI Designation for the UAMS Cancer Institute will create almost 1,600 jobs within the first five years and bulk up the economy by approximately $72 million. It remains uncertain as to whether or not medical cannabis in Arkansas will be considered as a method of treatment for cancer patients, but since cannabis tax revenue is making the designation possible, it is likely that trials will commence.

Arkansas medical cannabis trade association elects 9 new members

On September 17, nine new members were elected to serve on the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association’s (ACIA) board of directors. This statewide medical cannabis industry association provides representation for ancillary businesses, cultivators and dispensary operators.

“We are putting significant resources behind ACIA to ensure it’s an organization that will meet the needs of Arkansas’s medical cannabis industry,” said the ACIA President, Robert deBin. “Our growing membership numbers coupled with an engaged, diverse board are a testament to the strength of this industry and its potential.”

Listed below is an updated list of the ACIA Board of Directors:

  • Robert Lercher, Bold Team, LLC, Cotton Plant;
  • Matt Trulove, Osage Creek Cultivation, Berryville;
  • Robert deBin, Natural State Medicinals Cultivators, White Hall;
  • Jon Reeves, Liberty Defense Group, Springdale;
  • Dan Roda, Abaca, North Little Rock;
  • Adam Hodge, GrowBrite Risk Management, Little Rock;
  • Matt Shansky, The ReLeaf Center, Bentonville;
  • Clint Mickle, Plant Family Therapeutics, Mt. Home;
  • Erin Gray, GreenLight, Helena;
  • Robbin Rahman, Harvest, Conway;
  • Brandon Thornton, Steep Hill, Little Rock;
  • Mark de Souza, Enlightened, Clarksville, Morrilton, Heber Springs and Arkadelphia.
  • Gates McKnight, Purspirit, Fayetteville

“ACIA is pleased to welcome new members to our board of directors,” said Dan Roda, ACIA Vice President. “This is a diverse group, representing all facets of the industry. The knowledge and experience each possesses will help guide and shape ACIA going forward.”

The announcement of the ACIA’s new board members comes after the organization employed a fresh team of management experts to assist with daily medical cannabis-related duties in Arkansas.