PINE BLUFF, Ark — A Little Rock man is looking to sprout a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Pine Bluff … but its potential location is causing growing concern.
Bill Rector, with Newsouth Agriculture LLC, wants to set up shop near the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff.
He said he chose the location because it’s not close to any elementary, middle or high schools and feels the city could benefit from the business.
“It’s a great business opportunity,” said Rector. “I think we can help some people.”
Tuesday night, the Pine Bluff Planning Commission agreed to lease a vacant tractor supply building, near University and McFadden Road, to the Little Rock native and former newspaper owner.
“I was looking for my next great career,” said Rector.
Rector said his cultivation facility will house a greenhouse where chemists will extract oil and flour from marijuana plants to be shipped out.
“You put those in any sorts of things … edibles or vap pipes,” said Rector.
However, Pine Bluff Alderwoman Thelma Walker is looking to chop the idea.
“It sets a bad precedent for this city,” said Walker.
She is concerned about the potential business sitting near UAPB.
“It just doesn’t fit,” said Walker.
Rector said his goal is to have college students intern at his facility.
“I thought it was a great opportunity,” said Rector. “We have the college right next door. They have chemistry majors and they have agricultural majors and that fits right in with us.”
Although the planning commission has agreed to lease a building to Rector, the Medical Marijuana Commission gives the final stamp of approval.