WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WATN) – We’re inching closer for the first medical marijuana dispensary in northeast Arkansas to open its doors for its first customers.
On Wednesday, Local 24 News learned the first of three licensed dispensaries in West Memphis, Arkansas, submitted its building application, a significant step in the process.
Those building plans will be reviewed by a West Memphis board next week, but if that and other inspections are approved as planned, the now-vacant building on Ok Street will be an operational medical marijuana provider by the end of the year.
Brian Ward works next door.
“Let them come,” Ward said. “I don’t see any reason why not. It if helps people, medically, sure, go for it.”
The Body and Mind – or BaM – dispensary in Arkansas would be the company’s third state of operation and leaders hope to open in the next three to six months.
“It’s a huge level of responsibility,” Body and Mind V.P. Of Communications Michael Mills said.
Last month, the first two dispensaries in Arkansas opened to long lines and high demand in Hot Springs.
A spokesperson for the planned Body and Mind dispensary said stigmas are quickly changing.
“What we’ve seen over the past decade is a very significant ramp-up in people’s attitudes about medical cannabis,” Mills said.
Statewide to date, Arkansas health leaders approved nearly 13,000 medical marijuana ID cards.
Those eligible must show proof they live in the Natural State, get a doctor’s certificate, and meet more than a dozen qualifying conditions, which include cancer, glaucoma, severe nausea, and seizures.
“At the end of the day, it’s about helping patients,” Mills said.
A spokesperson with another planned dispensary in West Memphis said building applications should be submitted next week, in the hope construction can begin next month.