BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Medical marijuana dispensaries and growing farms could begin popping up along Missouri’s southern border.
Officials with the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission last week finalized details and applications for prospective growers and vendors will become available to the public on June 20.
Under Arkansas law, there can be five cultivation sites statewide; for dispensaries, the state is divided into eight zones that each can have at least four dispensaries, for a total of 32 statewide.
Northwest Arkansas — Benton, Washington, Carroll and Madison counties — is defined as one zone.
Each of those four counties voted to approve medical marijuana in November, as did the state overall, by a vote of 53 percent to 46 percent.
Applicants have already approached cities and planning commissions in Benton, Washington and Carroll counties about rezoning for dispensaries and buying land to grow marijuana, and the next couple of months will be a race to learn who will be granted licenses, and where. The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will start accepting applications on June 30 and will accept them for 90 days.
Kevin Gambrill, director of the Benton County Planning Commission, said last week that he received both formal and informal inquiries from people interested in buying land to grow marijuana.
“We have acreage and lots of land in Benton County, so (growing operations) are typically what I see coming for us,” he said last week.
One of those potential buyers for Benton County, contacted recently by the Globe, did not want to publicly discuss plans any more, saying he and his partner backed off after finding a lack of community support and having difficulty getting financing. He added that he did not want to talk on the record for the fear that the stigma surrounding marijuana