FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The big business of medical marijuana in Arkansas is set to take off in the not-too-distant future.
“It’s an up and coming industry,” said Travis Story with the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.
“We’ll be studying this in economics for years,” said Gregory Duran, the President of the Cannabis Patients Alliance.
It’s been a year since Arkansas voters gave the thumbs up to prescription pot. Still in its infancy, the industry’s impact on the Natural State’s bottom line has yet to be felt.
“Every day in the Cannabis business is kind of a question mark,” said Adam Grimmett, the Vice-President of the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association.
So what can we forecast for when the buds start blooming?
“We don’t have statistics to bare, but we can go off other states with similar population and demographic count,” said Brian Faught, who is applying for a cultivation and dispensary license.
Those with their hands in the pot look to the 28 other states and Washington D.C., which have also legalized medical cannabis.
Among those states, Nevada is similar to Arkansas in both size and population, so it offers a comparable snapshot of economic impact.
Based on what the Silver State pulls in each year, the Department of Finance and Administration expects Arkansas to have sales that exceed $38 million dollars annually.
“The money is there,” Duran said.
So far, 95 cultivation and 228 dispensary applications have been submitted to the eight zones in the state. But only five cultivation facilities and 32 dispensary owners will be chosen to cash in on the crop.
“I was interested in the business opportunity first, I am a businessman first,” Faught said.
Faught hopes to blaze a trail in Arkansas. He’s put in an application to run a cultivation facility and a dispensary.