A look inside ReLeaf Center, first likely NWA medical marijuana dispensary to open


BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Northwest Arkansas could be just weeks away from having not one, but two medical marijuana dispensaries.

ReLeaf Center Owner and COO Matt Shansky said, “There’s been people that have been waiting their whole lives to see this day come, so I view this as a very monumental, historical day or event for not only Bentonville but for the state of Arkansas.”

Medical marijuana is making a long-awaited arrival into Northwest Arkansas, and now it’s closer than ever.

Scott Hardin, the spokesperson for the Medical Marijuana Commission
said, “We could see [the] product in patients hands in just a matter of really less than two weeks.”

Hardin said the ReLeaf Center in Bentonville has now requested an inspection with Alcoholic Beverage Control, the last step before opening its doors.

“As soon as they receive that approval, they can open that minute,” Hardin said.

Shansky said, “Our goal will be as soon as we get that approval, as quickly as possible at that point.”

Once it gets the green light, Shanksy said they’ll start to move in product.

It’s been about three years in the making, so he’s ready for the rush.

“Definitely gonna’ make it comfortable for people if they do have to wait, so we’ll be providing water, food, that kind of stuff,” he said. “It’ll be an event out here.”

While the lot outside the ReLeaf Center is filled with dirt and tools right now, toward the end of the month it will be filled with people ready to get their medicine.

But it won’t be the only place people can get medical marijuana for long.

Hardin said, “As of today, two of the four Northwest Arkansas dispensaries have indicated to us that they are ready for inspection and ready to open their doors for business.”

Arkansas Medicinal Source Patient Center has also requested an inspection.

Hardin says there’s no set date yet, but it will likely happen the same week as the ReLeaf Center.

Shanksy said once open, these businesses will be more than just money makers.

“I don’t know that words can capture what this represents to a lot of people around this state,” he said.

The inspection date for the ReLeaf Center is July 29.

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