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Arkansas medical marijuana sales surpass $140 million



LITTLE ROCK, Ark — We are continuing to see certain businesses thrive through these unprecedented times. One of those being medical marijuana.

It’s hard to believe over a year ago we had zero dispensaries in Little Rock and now there is a total of six within 30 minutes of the capital city.

A business that wasn’t in the natural state until May of last year is now selling, according to Medical Marijuana Commission Spokesperson Scott Hardin, on average $600,000 a day of medical marijuana.

“This is an industry that’s really thriving in a tough economy,” he said.

When the first dispensary in Arkansas opened its doors in May of 2019, Hardin said some wondered if it would have the support to survive.

“We looked at it and thought, well maybe once it’s fully mature we’ll have about 40,000 Arkansans with patient cards,” he said.

Flash forward to now over 12 months in, there are 29 dispensaries across the state with over 80,000 Arkansans holding a patient card, according to Hardin.

“The maximum purchase is 2.5 ounces every 14 days, which is a significant purchase. It could be up to $1,000 every two weeks and you have a number of patients doing that,” he said.

When you add all of those factors together, Hardin said it means Arkansans have spent $143 million to get over 22,000 pounds of medical marijuana—despite a pandemic.

Jarrett McFarlin, the general manager at Custom Cannabis in Little Rock said they are grateful business is booming when they know many others are struggling.

“People are always going to need their medication. They always need an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals,” he said.

This need is bringing 200 to 300 patients into Custom Cannabis daily.

According to McFarlin, the high volume, that no one anticipated, is beginning to affect the supply chain.

“They are going to be temporary shortages of flour, mostly in the state. I would probably say for about a month until the market stabilizes a little bit more,” he said.

A market, that Hardin said, is climbing and isn’t slowing down any time soon.

“We are fairly confident that medical marijuana sales will exceed $200 million in the next 12 months,” he said.

According to Hardin, five more dispensaries will be coming to the natural state in the next three to four months. Additionally, three more cultivation facilities have also been approved.

ABC has been doing regular checks of the dispensaries to make sure they are following current CDC guidelines, so far, no violations have been issued.

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