A medical cannabis dispensary could come to Mulberry next year.
Mulberry Mayor Gary Baxter said the city was approached by a company called Natural State Healthcare in early 2017 following the 2016 general election, in which Arkansas voters approved Issue 6 on the ballot. Listed by the popular name “The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016,” this made the medical use of marijuana legal under Arkansas state law.
Baxter said Natural State Healthcare is looking for a location for a medical cannabis processing plant and pharmacy.
“And they said, ‘We’re looking for a location in Mulberry Industrial Park that is already commercial and industrial,” said Baxter. “… According to the state, cities and counties cannot discriminate against a medical marijuana pharmacy, and it must be treated like any other pharmacy or business.”
Baxter said he was told the facility would distribute suppositories, oils and other items to residents who have been state certified to buy medical cannabis.
“… Not the recreational marijuana that gets people high, but the medical marijuana that gives people a better quality of life than they would have without this product,” said Baxter.
According to the results of the general election provided by the Crawford County Clerk’s Office, 11,652 county voters voted for Issue 6 while 10,553 voted against.
Corey Hunt, President and CEO of Natural State Healthcare, said the company is a group of medical professionals and medical cannabis experts who have come together to create an environment for a care center as well as a processing and blending facility to produce medical products Cannabis manufacture patients in Arkansas. It was founded that year. Hunt is also the co-founder of Illegal Healed, a nonprofit that, according to its Facebook page, provides multimedia cannabis science content, patient reports, and news.
According to Hunt, Natural State Healthcare plans to build a 10,000 square foot facility in Mulberry. It will be able to dispense medical cannabis and educate medical cannabis patients. It will also have full extraction and compounding facilities. Various products are being developed to serve a wide variety of patients.
When asked about the benefits of medicinal cannabis, Hunt said that while it is not a panacea, he described it as “a great tool in the toolbox,” and it should be treated as such. In addition to the holistic treatment, it works wonders.
“… But with that in mind, we see cannabis stop seizures,” said Hunt. “We see cannabis ameliorating the side effects of chemotherapy. We see how veterans taking dozens and dozen of medications can stop these terrible drugs and treat every symptom cluster of PTSD with medicinal cannabis Patients with chronic and debilitating pain can use cannabis to relieve that pain and terrible … Overcoming bouts of pain or depression. “
Hunt said in order for this pharmacy to become a reality, Natural State Healthcare must first obtain a license for the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Pharmacy from the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission. He described putting together the necessary materials for the application as the most daunting task of his life, but he believes it will be worth it.
“We applaud all regulation because we believe regulation comes with legitimacy and we want a legitimate industry,” said Hunt. “We want to have a place where patients feel comfortable and safe, and we want to offer products that they feel safe. To do this, we have to meet many requirements.”
A copy of the application on the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission website describes the elements that must be completed and submitted in order to be considered for approval as a medical marijuana dispensary.
Hunt said the commission will grant five licenses to grow medical marijuana in the state. The commission will award a total of 32 medical marijuana pharmacy licenses, with a maximum of four available in each of eight geographic pharmacy zones across the state. Natural State Healthcare applies for a license in Zone 4.
“So while we are competing for a pharmacy in the state, we are really competing for one in four pharmacies available in our zone,” said Hunt.
Zone 4 consists of Crawford, Sebastian, Franklin, Logan, Johnson, Yell, Pope, and Conway counties, according to a map on the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission website. The copy of the application states that the Commission must submit the application for the license by September 18. Hunt said Natural State Healthcare will file its application “in a few days” on Thursday.
“… What will happen is, depending on how many people come up, the commissioners, all five of them, will evaluate the application,” said Hunt. “If you look at the application, they’ve broken it down to give that many points. It’s a performance-based system. You give them so many points based on different sections of the application. You get a hundred points all together. As it is.” will shake, is whoever scores the first four points wins the pharmacy. … “
Natural State Healthcare hopes the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will take no longer than a month to evaluate the applications, Hunt said.
“We hope the commissioners will be ready sometime in mid-October,” said Hunt. “I don’t see it taking longer than mid-November to get the license so we’re hoping for mid-October, but it could be mid-November before we know …”
Hunt doesn’t expect the Mulberry facility to be built and ready to sell medical cannabis products to patients until March or April 2018.
Natural State Healthcare bought two acres of land on Industrial Park Drive in Mulberry for $ 60,000, Hunt said. This will be the location of the new facility should the license be obtained, with Natural State Healthcare planning to spend up to $ 1.5 million to build it. The previous owner of the property was D&D Capital Investments. The purchase was completed in August.
Baxter said his desire is to promote Mulberry as a great place to live and a healthy community.
“Now the medical marijuana dispensary is selling a product that will help people regain some health and quality of life that they couldn’t experience with … traditional medicine,” said Baxter.