After hearing from the economic director of Prescott that she believes RX Med dispensary did not have a contract on property it said it would locate on, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will ask the owner of RX Med to appear at its next meeting.

A lawyer for RX Med appeared at today’s commission meeting seeking the commission’s approval of a move of the business from Prescott to Texarkana. A representative for the dispensary said there were problems with the property, including a gas line, and that there were no other suitable locations in Prescott for the business because of the proximity to churches.

Mary Goodwin, the economic director, and Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver then spoke to the commission to object to the relocation of the business. Goodwin, who said she had worked with RX Med’s owners to locate properties, said the business said originally it wanted to buy 10 or 15 acres at exit 44 on I-30 from the Hines family, but later asked to buy only the one acre abutting the interstate. Mr. Hines, she said, wasn’t happy about that request, since that one acre was the most valuable, but offered to sell three acres.

It was in answering questions from Commissioner Dr. Stephen Carroll about what suitable properties were available in Prescott that Goodwin said she believed RX Med’s contract to buy property had expired last March, which would affect the validity of the dispensary’s application.

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Goodwin also denied that the gas line presented a problem on the site, and said that at any rate, RX Med has known about it for some time. “In our opinion, that is not really a factor,” she said.

Goodwin said she was curious when she stopped hearing from the company and did not know it wanted to move until she saw it on the agenda posted on the Medical Marijuana Commission website. She said the five or six jobs and tax proceeds the business would bring in would be a boon to tiny Prescott, which she said has a population of 3,200.

The commission also denied a request by AR Green Spirit to reactivate a withdrawn dispensary application. AR Green Spirit withdrew after the scoring (it came in sixth in Zone 3) because of an owner’s illness. However, the illness has resolved and AR Green Spirit, which hoped to open in Jonesboro, wanted to be put back on the list in case more dispensaries are allowed in the future. Counsel advised the commission against approval.

Natural State Wellness Dispensary, which originally planned to open on Stagecoach Road, won approval to move to 900 Rodney Parham Road, and should open in July.

The commission also approved a draft of licensure rules for transportation of medical marijuana, with an amendment to strike the requirement that the $100,000 performance bond be maintained throughout the duration of the licensure. Counsel for the commission said the rule would have required transporters to have $200,000 in liquid assets, a bar too high. It agreed on transporter fees of $5,000.

Counsel also addressed Commissioner Ronda Henry-Tillman’s concerns that including the terminology “distributer/transporter” would be interpreted as two different things, and could be construed to mean that transporters would be licensed to sell product. A definition of distributer will be included in the rules.

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