NEA learns its (likely) medical marijuana dispensaries

The initial zone map had Clay County and Randolph County in opposite spots.

JONESBORO, Ark. – Medical marijuana dispensary scores were released via repeated Freedom of Information Act request today by the remarkably inefficient Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.

The AMMC will award 32 dispensary licenses in eight regions at its Jan. 9 meeting, if there are no delays. Commission spokesman Scott Hardin said the scores had not been reviewed or voted on and are not official. However, barring no changes, this provides a glimpse into who will and won’t be the dispensaries.

The top four scores from each zone will be awarded a license but a company can not obtain more than one. Raw data of the scores was released in spreadsheet form. Reporters poured over the data, including former Jonesboro reporter – current Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter – Hunter Field.

Some of the highest numbers, according to Field’s thorough work, came from NEA.

Zone 3 represents all of NEA – Sharp, Independence, Clay, Lawrence, jackson, Woodruff, Randolph, Greene, Craighead, Poinsett, Mississippi, Cross, St. Francis, and Crittenden counties.

Valentine Holdings, LLC d/b/a Northeast Arkansas Medical Cannabis Company scored 371.33, Field reported on Twitter. Only three other companies scored higher.

For NEA:

Valentine Holdings was awarded three locations – so they will have to decide which they want to open a dispensary in, explained Arkansas Progressive Medicine’s Dr. Dane Flippin.

“They will have to choose one site and let the other two go, that will then result in the next best group to roll up into the vacated slot,” Flippin said. “So we’ll have to wait until the multiple site winners decide on their site.”

If Valentine Holdings does not pick NEA, then the list will include Delta Cannabis, who scored 345.72. Many will be waiting anxiously to learn their decision.

But many have already been waiting with great anticipation for the day they would have the choice to purchase medical marijuana in The Natural State. Dr. Flippin said the time to wait is over.

“I’d encourage the ones that haven’t been certified for their cards yet to stop waiting,” Flippin said. “There’s going to be a rush shortly. Product should be available for purchase late March or early April. The cards will be issued 30 days before the first dispensary is set to open. I estimate that will be February or March.”

Reporter’s note: Follow Hunter Field on Twitter. He’s one of the most talented reporters in Arkansas.

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