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Arkansas Approves Medical Marijuana Dispensary Scores

Arkansas regulators are notifying the 32 companies they plan to award licenses to sell medical marijuana in the state.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has approved the final scores for dispensary applicants that were produced by an outside consultant hired to evaluate the applicants. Thus, 32 of the 198 applicants will receive dispensary licenses.

The commission has split the dispensary applications by eight geographic zones. The top four applicants in each of the eight regions will receive the license to open medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.

The winning companies are required to pay a licensing fee of $15,000 and also a performance bond of $100,000 within seven days, before they are awarded the dispensary licenses.

While out-of-state investors were allowed to apply for the medical marijuana dispensary license, each ownership group must consist of 60 percent Arkansans at a minimum.

Arkansas voters legalized medical marijuana in 2016, but it is still not available in the state due to the delay in the program's roll-out.

According to Arkansas health officials, more than 6,700 patients in the state have been approved for patient cards. However, the cards are unlikely to be distributed until February.

Arkansas residents with valid medical marijuana licenses can receive a temporary medical marijuana adult license in neighboring Oklahoma. While residents of Arkansas will be able to cross state lines into Oklahoma to buy medical marijuana, they will not be able to bring it back.

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