Two of Arkansas’ medical cannabis dispensaries take in $353,000 during first week of sales

By 2019, cannabis industry analysts believe Arkansas’ medical cannabis industry could be worth between $15 million and $20 million dollars

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Two of Arkansas’ medical cannabis dispensaries take in $353,000 during first week of sales

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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The medical cannabis market in Arkansas is storming ahead of Ohio, where the population is four times the size. Sales in the conservative state look promising, with dispensary workers carrying out almost 5,000 transactions for over 50 pounds of cannabis during launch week.

According to a report by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, pre-tax receipts totaled $353,802 from cannabis retail sales. Neighboring Ohio’s cannabis sales figures for the first week of legal sales weren’t quite as impressive, with four of the Republican-dominated state’s dispensaries raking in an average of $248,000 on a weekly basis.

Cannabis was outlawed in the conservative State of Arkansas back in 1923, but was legalized for medical purposes back in November. A total of 24 laws were changed to end cannabis prohibition after the Medical Marijuana Amendment was approved by voters with 53 percent of the vote.

Arkansas’ medical cannabis sales figures suggest future success for the state’s new industry

The first week of legal medical cannabis sales in Arkansas saw customers buy, on average, five grams of weed per transaction. In total, there were 4,787 transactions and 52 pounds of cannabis sold.

Two dispensaries were responsible for dealing with those transactions: Doctors Orders Rx in Hot Springs and Green Springs Medical. The stores kick-started sales on May 10 and May 12, respectively. By May 13, both stores had already pulled in a combined total of $93,000.

If things continue at this rate, Arkansas’ medical cannabis industry could eventually eclipse Ohio’s and that of other nearby states.

Patient interest for Arkansas’ medical cannabis program is growing

Although Arkansas’ medical cannabis industry has gotten off to a slow start, with delays spanning over two years before the state launched retail sales, patients were not deterred from applying for medical cannabis cards. By mid-May, more than 12,000 patients had already applied to become a patient in Arkansas’ medical cannabis program, indicating a 121 percent increase since June of last year.

Spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Finance, Scott Hardin, believes that the staggering figures for Arkansas’ first week of legal cannabis retail sales are the result of a spike in interest for the state’s patient program.

“Now that dispensaries are selling product, the number of patients could grow at an even faster rate,” Hardin said. “I think that 20,000 patients is a very feasible number for us in the near future.”

More dispensaries are set to open their doors in Arkansas

By 2019, cannabis industry analysts believe Arkansas’ medical cannabis industry could be worth between $15 million and $20 million dollars. These figures were published in the 2019 Marijuana Business Factbook. If the state’s first week of legal sales are anything to go by, the analysts could be onto something with their predictions.

A handful of new dispensaries are preparing to open their doors over the remainder of 2019; the needs of an ever-growing patient demographic must be met by medical cannabis producers and dispensary owners. With the surge in Arkansas’ medical cannabis patient count and dispensaries comes a profusion of job opportunities for individuals interested in the state’s legal cannabis industry, such as budtender jobs, concentrates processor, security guards and of course, the all-important cultivators.

As time progresses, more businesses are expected to launch, but only when the state’s distribution and processing rules are finalized. New license options will be also made available to applicants in the near future.