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Arkansas to outsource evaluation of medical pot applications

Posted on July 26, 2018

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana commission has voted to give a consulting group the power to evaluate applications and award 32 dispensary licenses for medical pot.

By a vote of 3-2 Wednesday, the commission agreed that a consulting group, comprising a five-member panel, could review and score hundreds of dispensary applications.

Commissioner Travis Story strongly opposed the motion, arguing the commission itself had a constitutionally-granted responsibility to review and score the applications. But last week, Arkansas lawmakers passed an amendment granting the commission the authority to hire a consultant.

Office of State Procurement lawyer David Withrow said the consultant will be selected within about a month. The commission can award the licenses under a 2016 constitutional amendment which legalized medical marijuana.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.