REQUEST WITHDRAWN: Greenlight Helena has withdrawn its request to move to Stuttgart.

A medical marijuana dispensary in Helena-West Helena has withdrawn its request to move to Stuttgart after the state Medical Marijuana Commission received more than 30 letters in opposition. 


Last month, Greenlight Helena asked the commission for permission to move to a location on Highway 63 in Stuttgart. The commission tabled the request after commission chair James Miller said he had heard people in Stuttgart wanted time to submit letters about the proposed move, a spokesman for the commission said. 

Michael Goswami, the attorney representing Greenlight Helena, emailed Alcoholic Beverage Control attorney Chip Leibovich yesterday to withdraw the transfer request. Goswami said the opposition came as a surprise to his client. 


“It appears that there are strong present objections from the populace and business lobby of the City of Stuttgart to locate a dispensary for the benefit of patients in and near Stuttgart,” Goswami said in the email. “The lack of support was a surprise to my client, and we are hopeful that Stuttgart will recognize that this was a wonderful opportunity to create jobs and tax revenue in Stuttgart as the Arkansas cannabis market continues to mature.”

The commission’s staff received 37 letters, all in opposition. Staff and commissioners received letters from the CEO of Riceland Foods, the Stuttgart economic development coordinator, a doctor at Stuttgart Medical Clinic, a pastor at First United Methodist Church of Stuttgart, Arkansas County Judge Thomas “Eddie” Best, state Sen. Ronald Caldwell (R-Wynne), elected officials in the nearby town of Almyra, an adjacent property owner and many residents.


Many of the letters cited concerns about the dispensary exacerbating existing problems with crime and drugs in the southeast Arkansas town of about 8,000 people. Some of the letters said that Stuttgart medical marijuana patients could be served adequately by the three dispensaries located in Pine Bluff, which is less than 40 miles away.   

David Leech, the Stuttgart economic development coordinator, said the dispensary would place additional burdens on the city’s police force, which he said is already short on officers. He also asked why the dispensary would want to move from Helena-West Helena, which has a larger population than Stuttgart, and lamented that the dispensary would be near Mack’s Prairie Wings sporting goods store.

“The location of this facility is in our front door next to Mack’s Sports Shop,” he said. “That is not a good match for rice, ducks or for our town.”