Since Arkansas made it legal for cannabis to be purchased for medical use in May 2019, total sales of medical marijuana at dispensaries in the state have exceeded $100 million. The data comes from a report issued by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Interested observers of the cannabis real estate market are paying careful attention to what happens in Arkansas because the results could dictate whether the state eventually legalizes cannabis for recreational use.
Medical Marijuana Licenses Issued to Arkansas Cannabis Operators
Arkansas first made it legal for patients to buy medical cannabis in November 2016, when voters supported a state constitutional amendment. Approximately 53 percent of Arkansas voters supported that law, which allows up to 40 dispensaries to receive licenses to sell medical marijuana in the state.
Licenses to operate a dispensary are issued by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, which is governed by the Department and Finance and Administration. The commission has been tasked with both administering the licenses and regulating the cannabis operators to whom licenses are issued.
As of August 2020, Arkansas has issued a total of 33 licenses for cannabis operators to run medical marijuana dispensaries within state borders. Most of the dispensaries are already operational, with 26 retail marijuana stores now selling medical cannabis after new stores recently opened in Arkadelphia, Heber Springs, Monticello, and West Memphis, AR.
Arkansas Medical Cannabis Program Sees Rise in Retail Sales
Arkansas has more than 68,000 registered patients in the state’s medical cannabis program. According to state records released by the Arkansas Department of Health, those patients have purchased nearly 17,500 pounds of marijuana in the past year.
The dispensary that accounted for the highest number of sales during a recent two-week period listed in state records is the ReLeaf Center in Bentonville, Arkansas. The medical marijuana store reported selling nearly 200 pounds of cannabis to patients over two weeks. Since the ReLeaf Center first opened in August 2019, the dispensary has sold almost 2,000 pounds of medical cannabis.
The Arkansas Tax Procedure Act does not allow the state to release revenue totals for dispensaries, so public records of sales for each retail marijuana store are calculated in terms of the weight of pot sold. In terms of the total amount of revenue generated by medical cannabis sales in Arkansas, the numbers appear to be rising. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees the Arkansas Revenue Office, reported that state residents are now spending more than $500,000 per day on medical marijuana.
Contact Scythian Real Estate to Learn About Expanding Cannabis Operations in New States
The surge in medical cannabis sales in Arkansas mirrors the booming cannabis market in other states like Colorado, Illinois, and New York. As more and more states legalize cannabis for medical and/or recreational use, it is likely that savvy investors will look to capitalize.
Scythian Real Estate specializes in cannabis real estate. Scythian partners with sophisticated cannabis companies in sale-leaseback deals and manages a growing cannabis real estate portfolio. For additional information, email Scythian now.
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