THE COMMERCIAL STAFF AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Demand for permission to use, grow and sell medical marijuana in Arkansas is 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 Friday morning that the agency had received no applications to grow and distribute medical marijuana.
“We are not concerned, as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete,” Hardin said earlier in the week. “Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications.”
Hardin said officials anticipate applications will start arriving closer to the Sept. 18 deadline. In June, 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 a permit from the Pine Bluff Planning and Development Commission for a Pine Bluff growing center under their company, Newsouth Agriculture, LLC.
The permit was approved. Attempts to reach Rector and his business partner before the press deadline were unsuccessful. 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 to the city a permit on review request to operate a cultivation, production and sales facility for medical marijuana at 2404 South University Avenue. Rector estimated in June that he and his partner would spend $1.5 million to renovate the property.
Rector assured the planning commission in June that the facility would meet strict policies for security mandated by the state, including perimeter fencing, lighting, surveillance cameras