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Arkansas to Impose Deadlines and Fines on “Inactive” Dispensaries

State Marijuana

Arkansas is only giving medical marijuana dispensaries until mid-2020 to open before they will face license revocation. The state considers these to be “inactive licenses” and fines may also be imposed.

Twenty-one of the state’s licensed medical marijuana dispensaries have not opened yet, Arkansas Online reported. The only thing saving dispensaries from being fined now is that the Alcoholic Beverage Control officials haven’t finished drafting the impending new rule, which still has to be completed, approved and implemented.

Spokesman for Alcoholic Beverage Control, Scott Hardin, said, “Amendment 98 did not include a date by which dispensaries must be operational. Due to this, the pace at which these dispensaries are developed and open for business is totally at the discretion of owners. ABC Enforcement agents continually check in with owners, requesting status updates while offering support and a reminder that the company was licensed to serve patients. ABC will send a letter to each dispensary in early January explaining the process of renewing the license while also requesting an updated time frame for opening.”

Only 11 medical marijuana dispensaries are operational in Arkansas. Three more may be opening soon as final inspection requests have been made.

Attorney David Couch said, “It’s totally unreasonable. I think a lot of these unopened facilities are managed by out-of-state entities who believe that it’s not economically in their best interest to open a facility now, so they’re just going to wait. I think that’s wrong.”

Patients will have minimal access to medical marijuana until more dispensaries open throughout the state.