The Source medical cannabis dispensary opened for business Aug. 15, just south of Walmart headquarters on Walton Boulevard. Releaf Center, located in rural northeast Bentonville opened Aug. 7. Of 32 dispensaries approved by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, only eight licensed facilities have opened so far.
Five months after the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, a voter-approved ballot initiative, officially took effect in early November 2016, handgun carrying laws greatly expanded in Arkansas as well, but gun owners who register as medical marijuana patients are federally prohibited from purchasing or even owning a gun.
In Pine Bluff, Levon Lee sits at a table in his garage, the centerpiece of which is a decorative tin filled with marijuana cigarettes. “Matter of fact,” he says, toward the end of an afternoon, “it’s time for me to get to one now. I ain’t had me one all day!”
Lee is one of many Arkansans who would qualify for the state’s legal medical marijuana program but isn't waiting for legal marijuana. In his case, he flies to southern California, to where he had been legally acquiring medical marijuana through a doctor before that state made all marijuana legal Jan. 1. He wouldn’t say how that supply makes its way to his tabletop tin.
Jack Cross in Eureka Springs is a medical marijuana patient in Illinois, but he lives in Eureka Springs.
The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association is hosting a training seminar later this month for those interested in working in the state's medical marijuana industry. Corey Hunt, an ACIA board member and event organizer, discusses the importance of training dispensary agents so they are equipped to make recommendations to patients. The seminar costs $149 and will be held Jan. 20 from 11 a.m.