THE ARKANSAS NEWS BUREAU
LITTLE ROCK — Application forms are available for people wanting to apply for licenses to operate medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries, the state Department of Finance and Administration said Monday.
The application period will run from June 30 to Sept. 18. After that date, the state Medical Marijuana Commission will score the applications and award licenses. A growing operation is planned for Pine Bluff.
Bill Rector, a Little Rock realtor and president of Renaissance Properties Limited, teamed with Rick Henderson, owner of a Little Rock tree trimming company called Apple Tree Service, to request the permit for a Pine Bluff growing center under their company, Newsouth Agriculture, LLC.
The facility would be one of five such facilities allowed under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Board, which set the rules after Arkansas voters passed a constitutional amendment in November to legalize medical marijuana. The five facilities would operate as wholesale operations distributing to 32 medical marijuana dispensaries statewide.
Newsouth submitted a permit on review request to operate a cultivation, production and sales facility for medical marijuana at 2404 South University Avenue. Rector estimated that he and his partner would spend $1.5 million to renovate the property, which previously housed Greenway Equipment, a John Deere dealership.
Rector assured the commission that the facility would meet strict policies for security mandated by the state, including perimeter fencing, lighting, surveillance cameras and 24-hour security. The marijuana will be grown in an indoor greenhouse, he said, and they plan to employ between 20 and 40 workers. They also plan to offer internships to UAPB chemistry and agriculture students.
“These are going to be good jobs, indoor jobs,” Rector said. “We’ll hire everybody from agricultural workers to chemists. We’re going to basically operate a laboratory.”
As many as 40 local workers could