In a meeting Wednesday afternoon, the state Medical Marijuana Commission approved change in ownership requests for four dispensaries, including the total sale of THC Rx in West Memphis.
The Commission approved THC Rx owner Todd Sears to transfer his 100 percent ownership of the dispensary to Bart Christine. The dispensary will lose the 12.5 bonus points it gained during the application period for being owned by a veteran, resulting in 376.5 total points, a score which Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Doralee Chandler said would still have earned it a spot in the top four scoring dispensaries of Zone 3. Charles Singleton, an attorney for Sears, said all the dirt work has been done on the site of the dispensary at 3700 I-40 Frontage Road East in West Memphis, and the building’s metal structure has been ordered. Singleton said the dispensary should be able to open in about three months.
Fiddler’s Green dispensary in Mountain View, which opened in July, was also approved for a change in ownership. Dispensary owner Amanda Woods will transfer her 2.5 percent ownership stake to CEO Lisa Murphy, who will now have an 89 percent ownership stake. The dispensary will maintain its status as being owned by a minority, since Murphy remains as an owner in addition to Kent Thomas, who has an 11 percent ownership stake. Murphy said Woods wanted to transfer her ownership because she’s becoming a teacher and doesn’t want the record of her ownership in the dispensary to show up on background checks.
Natural State Medical Group in Alexander was approved for several transfers of ownership. Owner Zada Adamentz will transfer 10 percent of her 46 percent ownership stake equally to Lisa Shahim and Donna Mooney, whom Chandler said is a stockholder in the Natural State Medicinals cultivation facility. Julie Hart will transfer 3 percent of her 5 percent ownership stake to Charles Hart, and Melton Collazo will transfer 6 percent of his 13 percent ownership stake to Sheri Collazo. Chandler said Natural State Medical, Inc. is changing to an LLC corporation for tax purposes.
The Source in Bentonville*, which opened in August, was also approved for a change in ownership. Colorado Sustainable, which owns a 5 percent stake in the dispensary and is owned by Conor Filter, is being purchased by the seven remaining stock holders, and the 5 percent ownership stake is being distributed among the other ownership interests.
Purspirit Cannabis in Fayetteville was approved to open for business this week by the ABC, following its Nov. 15 inspection. Purspirit will be the 11th dispensary in operation in the state when it opens later this week, which will also make Northwest Arkansas’s Zone 1 the first of the state’s eight zones with all four of its dispensaries in operation.
Chandler said four other dispensaries have requested inspections, which should be completed and allow the dispensaries to open within the next two to three weeks. Of the two remaining cultivation facilities yet to open, Chandler said one has been “partially approved” to begin operating, meaning it’s been approved to start growing plants. Chandler said the “tendency” with the cultivation facilities has been to allow the businesses to start growing plants while construction on other parts of the facility, like the harvesting rooms, is completed. Chandler added that she expects the fifth cultivation facility to be “coming online” with partial operation by the end of the year.
The Commission will meet next at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at which time Chandler said she will present commissioners with a draft of ABC’s rules for transporters and processors of medical marijuana.
*Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed The Source dispensary as being located in Fayetteville.