The two medical marijuana dispensaries currently open in the state of Arkansas have sold more than 100 pounds of marijuana so far, and it won’t be long before the two planned Fayetteville dispensaries get in on the act.
Currently, only two of the 32 licensed dispensaries in the state are open for business. Those locations – Green Springs Medical and Doctor’s Orders RX – are both located in the Hot Springs area, and both opened for business within a couple days of one another May 10-12.
According to an Arkansas Democrat Gazette story published today, two more facilities will open this month. Arkansas Natural Products, a dispensary in Clinton, Arkansas is set to be inspected this week, and Greenlight Dispensary, set to open in Helena-West Henena, has made their intentions to open by the middle of this month known to the state DFA.
We checked in last week with the two groups planning to open dispensaries in Fayetteville to get an update on their progress.
Acanza Health Group
Acanza Health Group will soon be opening a facility at 2733 N. McConnell Avenue in Fayetteville, in a space just off I-49 not far from Washington County Fairgrounds.
The group is led by CEO Randi Hernandez, who operated a cultivation and processing center in Maine, and is being advised by Quantum 9, a Chicago-based cannabis consulting firm.
According to Arkansas Times, Acanza Health Group is owned by Hernandez, Jancey Hutcherson, Matthew Jansen, Joseph Jansen, Grady Harvell, Darlene Hampton, Janinne Riggs, and Richard Hutson.
Michael Mayes, a spokesperson for Quantum 9, said Acanza chose to locate in Fayetteville for a variety of reasons.
“We decided to select Fayetteville due to the access to the patient population,” Mayes said. “We feel that we can make the most significant difference to the patient population in Fayetteville. In a 5 miles radius, there are over 100,000 people this equates to 2,000 patients. Our location is effortless to access off of I-49, 81,000 vehicles pass the site in a day.”
Mayes said Acanza plans to offer “all products within the acceptable list” determined by the state of Arkansas.
“If we do not produce it ourselves, we will wholesale purchase from other producers. We want to give our patients the most comprehensive selection possible to combat their ailments and conditions,” Mayes said. “Our focus revolves around chronic pain and reduction of opioid withdrawal symptoms but will have an arsenal of products to help the patient population with other conditions.”
The Acanza facility will disperse, cultivate, and process product on site, and will offer “the most comprehensive security system on the market” to protect against diversion.
Construction on the Acanza Health Group facility began on Saturday. If all goes well, Mayes said he hopes to be up and running sometime in August.
Northwest Arkansas Medical Cannabis Group
Northwest Arkansas Medical Cannabis Group, the other group working to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Fayetteville, will locate their facility at 3390 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Jonesboro attorney Don Parker II, one of the owners of Valentine Holdings, the group behind NWA Medical Cannabis Group, said the group recently received a permit to begin working on renovating their building.
According to the Arkansas Times, NWA Medical Cannabis Group is owned by Parker, his wife, Lynn Parker, John McKee, and his wife T. Michelle McKee, and Ray Osment.
Parker said they had originally hoped to construct a brand new facility, but that would require a rezone of the property, and the group ultimately decided to remodel the existing building instead.
He added that while he knows there are a couple of dispensaries currently operating in the state of Arkansas, his group wants to make sure they open the right way.
“I don’t want to be one of the first to open with a limited selection of products to offer,” Parker said. “I want the patients that come in to have a really good experience, and I don’t want to get too far out in front of the cultivators in terms of getting in full production not just with full flower, but a full array of derivative products as well.”
Parker said he expects his facility to be up and running sometime in the fall, with the possibility of being up and running late this summer if all goes well.