Once largely concealed to avoid the possibility of criminal charges, the cultivation of marijuana has gone legit and big business with the legalization of cannabis use for medical purposes in Arkansas. However, it takes more than having some seeds and some land. In order to grow marijuana legally, you must obtain a cultivation facility license from the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.

According to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, applicants for cultivation facility licensure must meet several minimum qualifications, pass a background check, provide proof of assets and pay the required fees. The minimum requirements include being at least 21-years-old, residing in the state for at least seven years, and having no ownership in any other cultivation facility in the state.

However, meeting the minimum requirements does not automatically mean you will receive a cultivation license. The Medical Marijuana Commission will only issue up to eight cultivation facility licenses initially, with more licenses potentially becoming available should the demand outweigh the existing licensed facilities’ supply. The commission’s selection process involves the consideration of certain merit-based criteria. These factors include the following:

  • Your ability to operate a business, including your education and experience
  • Proof that you are ready and able to develop a plan for opening and operating a cultivation facility
  • Your ability to operate a facility that complies with the applicable regulations
  • Any affiliations with medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy or doctors of pharmacy

The commission may also consider the ownership of your facility. For example, is it female-, veteran- or minority-owned? The Medical Marijuana Commission also looks at whether your facility would have a positive economic impact in the area in which you plan to locate it.

The applications submitted are evaluated by a review panel, which awards points based on the consideration criteria. The applications ranked highest based on their point totals are approved for licensure and may receive a license upon paying the necessary fee and posting the required performance bond.

The information in this post is not intended as legal advice, it is meant for general purposes only.