If you want to become a license medical cannabis cultivator in Arkansas, you better have a lot of money in the bank. The state's Medical Marijuana Commission has decided on an $100,000 fee for those wanting to receive a license to legally grow the medicine. And this is on top of the $15,000 fee just to apply, only half of which is refundable.
Commissioner Dr. Carlos Roman argued for a much lower fee of $15,000, which matches the application fee. He said he didn't want to shut out such a large portion of the population from obtaining the license as an $100,000 fee would do. While $15,000 is also an extremely high fee, it is considerably more reasonable for the average person to obtain, or at least, receive a loan for.
on the other end of the spectrum, Commissioner Travis Story pushed for an even higher fee to be set at $185,000. His argument was that he wanted to ensure that businesses wouldn't quickly go under and shut down.
In Arkansas, medical cannabis is legal thanks to the November passage of Initiative 6. The measure allows those with a qualifying condition to receive a recommendation for medical cannabis from a physician. The initiative authorizes a system of licensed cannabis dispensaries, supplied by cannabis cultivation centers.
Initiative 6 also established the Medical Marijuana Commission, which controls the regulations and licensing for the new market. The commission consists of five members; two were appointed by the president of the Senate, two were appointed by the speaker of the House, and one was appointed by the governor.
It's expected that at its current pace, medical cannabis dispensaries should be open in the state sometime next year.