DECIDING ON DISPENSARIES: The state Medical Marijuana Commission meeting deliberated five dispensaries’ requests for changes in location at its meeting Wednesday afternoon.

At Wednesday afternoon’s meeting of the state Medical Marijuana Commission, commissioners approved changes in location for three dispensaries and changes of ownership for four dispensaries.

Natural State Medical Group in West Central Arkansas’s Zone 6 was denied its request to change the location of its cultivation, processing and packaging operations. The dispensary will remain at its original address at 1402 Airport Road in Hot Springs, but it asked to be able to have its grow facility moved off-site to a location at 7090 Central Avenue in Hot Springs. Commission members shared concern that allowing the dispensary to do so would condone the creation of “de facto cultivation centers.” They also said the dispensary’s original application was approved with the understanding that only one building would be utilized for the facility, and the commission didn’t feel “comfortable” approving the additional growing facility would condone a feature not contained in the application.

Will Harrison, a lawyer for Natural State Medical Group, said the medical marijuana amendment does not prevent the use of two facilities for a dispensary, but the commission still denied the dispensary’s request.

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Big Fish of North Central Arkansas’s Zone 2 was granted a change in location about a mile from its original address at 1400 Heber Springs Road North to a new location at 3001 Hwy. 25 B in Heber Springs. The dispensary will remain in Zone 2, and its score will not be affected by the move.

Alex Gray, a lawyer for Big Fish, said the change in location is due to the expiration of the dispensary’s real estate application at the former address. He added that he anticipates the dispensary will be able to open in 90-120 days.

River Valley Dispensary was granted a change in location from its current address at 23788 W. Hwy. 28 in Bluffton to a new location on West Shady Lane in Morrilton. The dispensary will remain in Zone 4 in West Central Arkansas, but it will move from Yell County to Conway County. Gray also represented River Valley Dispensary, and he said the new location is off of Interstate 40 and will be more convenient for patient access. There is no existing facility on the site, so new construction will take place.

Johnson County Dispensary was approved to move about 10 miles from its original location at the corner of Pittsburg and County Pivot 2658 in Clarksville to a new address at 131 Massengale Road in Clinton. Also located in West Central Arkansas’s Zone 4, the move will not affect the dispensary’s ranking. Gray, who also represented Johnson County Dispensary, said this change in location is also due to the expiration of the option contract on the former site.

Noah’s Ark, LLC’s request for a change in location from its current address at 3955 Mt. Holly Road in El Dorado to a new location at 3213 North West Avenue in El Dorado was tabled until the dispensary is able to prove that the new location meets zoning standards requiring the dispensary to be at least 1,500 feet from any church, school or daycare. Will McGowan, a representative for the dispensary, said it was requesting a new location because of a delay in securing the originally intended real estate. The move would have no impact on the dispensary’s ranking within Southwest Arkansas’s Zone 8.

The commission approved ownership changes for three dispensaries.

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Fiddler’s Green dispensary requested to have owner James Booth removed as a stakeholder entirely. Booth currently owns a 2.5 percent stake in the company, but CEO Lisa Murphy said Brown has not fulfilled his obligations as a stakeholder. Murphy said Booth is a consultant from Colorado, but he has refused to travel to Arkansas and has otherwise been noncompliant with the conditions of his ownership. The commission denied the dispensary’s request because Booth had not yet signed an agreement to sell his stock in the company, and the commission said it wasn’t responsible for settling internal disputes.

Natural State Medical’s request for a change in the dispensary’s ownership was tabled until James Adamentz, who owns a 15 percent stake in the company, signs a new contract agreeing to sell his stock in the business, as the contract he’d signed previously had expired prior to the commission meeting.

Native Green Wellness Center in Hensley, which is in West Central Arkansas’s Zone 6, was approved to add Anita Koon as an owner. Koon, who is the mother of owner Kattie Hansen, was approved for an eight percent ownership stake. Hansen’s 48 percent ownership stake will decrease to a 40 percent.

The ownership of Osage Creek Cultivation, currently divided among Matt, Jay, Brad and Mary Trulove, was approved to, instead, be owned entirely by Osage Creek LLC. Susana Watt, a representative for the Truloves, told the commission that the family created holding company for estate planning purposes. Osage Creek LLC is owned by Matt, Jay, Brad and Mary Trulove, and their ownership percentages will remain the same within the LLC.  

Natural Relief Dispensary in Central Arkansas’s Zone 5 was also granted an ownership change. Owner Michael Fault passed away in June, and before his death, he named his wife, Jessica, as a trustee to his estate and thus the owner of his stake in the company. Jessica requested to transfer that ownership Michael’s brother Brian Faught, who is also an owner in the dispensary.

Rock City Harvest, LLC in Conway requested and was approved to change its name to Harvest Cannabis Dispensary by the Secretary of State’s office. Delta Cultivators LLC in Southeastern Arkansas’s Zone 7 was approved by the secretary of state’s office to change its name to Greenlight Dispensary. The commission recognized its receipt of these changes.

The commission also approved changes for the floor plans of Delta Medical Cannabis, Natural State Wellness, The ReLeaf Center, Plant Family Therapeutics, Rock City Harvest LLC and Comprehensive Care Group. Doralee Chandler, director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control administration, told the commission these adjustments were minor internal changes that wouldn’t affect the dispensaries’ overall square footage.