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Flora Farms opens new marijuana dispensary location in Pineville

Flora Farms, a Missouri-based marijuana cultivator and dispensary, opened up a storefront in Pineville this month. The new location serves both medical and recreational marijuana to patrons over the age of 21 right on the Arkansas-Missouri state line. CEO of Flora Farms, Mark Hendren, is an Arkansas native hoping to expand the business’s footprint in Southwest Missouri. He said the previous location in Neosho was not large enough to satisfy customer demands.

“Very good location, but very small, only had room to wait on four, five customers at a time," ” Hendren said. "It didn’t really have the space for a drive-thru or the kind of capacity we figured out we needed. Once the Missouri voters in 2022 passed adult use/recreational use of marijuana, business dramatically improved across the state. Depending on where you were, I think business went up between 300% to 400% statewide. We just didn’t have space in the other facility to meet all the customer needs.”

Hendren said every Flora Farms location meets both the security and regulatory guidelines outlined by the state of Missouri for marijuana cultivation and retail.

“We are licensed and regulated by the Missouri Department of Cannabis Regulation," ” Hendren said. "We're lucky in the state of Missouri that the voters approved what's called a limited license footprint. That means there's only about 400 licenses that were awarded licenses. And the state regulates those very tightly, as they should. Whereas some other states don't have a limited license cap, so they may have hundreds, if not thousands of licensees out there. And it's a lot more difficult for the regulators to keep up with. Missouri, as I said, only has about 400 licenses. I think some of our neighbors nearby have hundreds, if not thousands of licenses that can be regulated.”

“And we're responsible to the Department of Senior Services, the Division of Cannabis Regulation, to follow all their rules, all their regulations," Hendren said. "They inspect us on a regular basis. They came down and inspected that facility at the state line before we could ever move in. And not only do we have to have full security measures and meet all their requirements, it's very strict as it should be, for us to sell cannabis to medical customers, they have to provide a medical card either from Missouri or another state that recognizes medical cannabis. Or in the alternative for adult use, is what we call it now, most people still a lot of people still refer to it as recreational to verify that a person has a government issued photo ID and verify that they are 21 years of age, and the most we can sell at any given time is three ounces.”

Ozarks at Large reached out to the Arkansas State Police for comment on how they are adjusting to potential increases in marijuana coming from outside the state. Director of Communications Cindy Murphy said they can’t speak to specific quantities from Missouri, but the state police have “seized 28,000 pounds of marijuana coming in and through Arkansas from other states during the past five years.”

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Sophia Nourani is a KUAF producer and reporter.
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