Our View

Our View

Perusing the medical marijuana rule book

Seems like the rules book for “pot” growers and distributors has been, let’s say, sent to the printer following a final stamp of approval by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission recently.

All that is left is a casual look from lawmakers and, we’re told, they will go into effect by May 8, giving the anxious entrepreneurs the go-ahead to compete for the limited number of cultivation centers and dispensaries that will be allowed in Arkansas.

The application period for dispensaries and cultivation facilities is expected to open July 1, and we know there will be considerable interest among competitors because there is an opportunity for those lucky enough to get a permit to make considerable profits.

Now that all the discussion, debate and confusion is now over just exactly are we looking at when it comes to this new economic opportunity for not only the state but also those jumping head over heels to get in on this business?

We’re impressed with the commission’s every effort to make sure this won’t be run by a bunch of jack legs familiar with growing a few “pot” plants in the back yard or a black light in a back room.

There will be between 20 and 40 dispensaries allowed to operate in designated areas of the state and between four and eight cultivation facilities.

As the rules stand now all dispensaries will face a $15,000 one-time licensing fee and a $22,500 fee to renew the license annually.

Furthermore, dispensaries will also need to provide proof of assets or a $200,000 surety bond and proof of at least $100,000 in liquid assets.

Now then, applicant fees have been assessed at $7,500, with half that amount refunded if an application is denied.

Cultivation facilities will be selected by the commission on the basis of the merits of their application.

There was previous discussion on some type of lottery selection process, which we’re glad was not taken seriously.

An application will cost $15,000. Those applicants denied a permit will receive $7,500 back.

Then there is the requirement that cultivation applicants must provide proof of assets of a surety bond of $1 million and proof of at least $500,000 in liquid assets.

Successful applicants will then have to fork over an annual $100,000 licensing fee and submit an initial $500,000 performance bond.

As anyone can see this is big business and it is obvious this commission is making every attempt to assure the taxpayers of this state they won’t be strapped with any of the costs of implementing this wacky weed venture or forced to subsidize any of the enforcement efforts that will be required.

Let’s make it clear that those business investors are very familiar with this type of operation and know very well, from past experience, what it will take to set up shop in our “Natural State”. In fact, we would be willing to bet there are those crafty individuals already preparing to construct their cultivation operations and those individuals scooping out potential locations to peddle their wacky weed to prospective “sick” clients.

We’re now anxious to see just how all this works out in the days ahead and wonder when we’ll hear about a campaign to expand this so-called medical marijuana into the recreational category so that anyone can fire up a joint or two.