LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Demand for permission to use, grow and sell medical marijuana in Arkansas has been low as the state reaches the halfway point for the application period.
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told The Associated Press that as of Wednesday no applications for growing and distributing medical marijuana had been received by the agency. Hardin said there aren’t any specific reasons why no license applications have been submitted, but officials anticipate applications will start arriving closer to the Sept. 18 deadline.
“We are not concerned as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete,” Hardin said. “Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications.”
There are regulations that limit where greenhouses and distributors can operate. While setting up rules for licensing, legislators said growers must be at least 3,000 feet from churches, schools or daycares, while dispensaries must be 1,500 feet away. Those restrictions will make it difficult for some towns and small cities to have marijuana operations.
Cultivation facility and dispensary license applications will be scored and officials will award the permits based on merit. The department plans to award five cultivation licenses and 32 dispensary licenses.
Despite a lack of submissions for licenses, there has been interest in using medical marijuana though that number is low.
There are 404 applications completed and approved from people seeking to use medical marijuana as of Tuesday, according to Department of Health spokeswoman Katie White.
Director of Health Communications Marisha DiCarlo told the AP the state agency had projected around 30,000 people may apply for cards to use medical marijuana.
“This number was based on population, types of qualifying conditions, and trends in other states,” DiCarlo said. “At this time, it is too early