Arkansas voters approved a medical marijuana measure in the 2016 election. Two and a half years later, the first patients were finally able to officially purchase products on May 11, 2019.
Arkansas has licensed five cultivators and 32 dispensaries, but only one cultivator has harvested its product and only two dispensaries, both in Hot Springs, have been cleared to open. Arkansas’s medical marijuana program has, like many states, been beset by legal and regulatory delays. Nevertheless, the chairman of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, lauded the opening, stating “[w]e are pleased to see medical marijuana dispensaries open, and are glad that patients will be able to access the appropriate cannabis product and possible relief they have patiently been awaiting since the passage of Amendment 98.” Prices are expected to be high in the next couple of months until more cultivators and dispensaries launch. Nevertheless, Arkansas is officially open for medical marijuana business.