For the first time in nearly a century, cannabis seeds have been legally planted in Arkansas.
The state awarded a total of only five licenses for medical marijuana producers, and BOLD Team Cultivation is officially the first to begin the process. BOLD TEAM LLC said that they are, “pleased to announce that we have been granted approval to begin cultivation of medical marijuana.”
“The cultivation process is now underway and we expect to have medicine available to dispensaries in April 2019,” the company said in a statement. “We are honored to begin meeting the medical needs of so many Arkansans at this historic moment in our great state.”
Site approval was given by the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control on January 10, 2019. BOLD Team LLC expects to harvest in time to have product on the shelves by April of this year. The first operating cultivation center is located in Cotton Plant, AK, about 80 miles west of Memphis and approximately 75 minutes northeast of Little Rock. This cultivation center creates 20 to 25 new jobs in Cotton Plant, a town with a population of only 600.
According to Scott Hardin of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, there will be 32 licensed dispensaries in the state, and the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control is working now to issue those licenses. Medical marijuana cards for the 7,000 expected patients are not set to be issued until 30 days before product hits dispensary shelves.
“Currently, we are talking with different dispensaries trying to – pun intended – cultivate relationships with them to where we can have a solid date to be able to have the medicine on the shelves,” said Robert Lercher, BOLD director of customer relations. “We’re just excited about being one step closer to the medicine being available to the patients that have waited so long for it in Arkansas.”
Voters approved Issue 6 on November 8, 2016, legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. Marijuana prohibition began in Arkansas in 1923.