April start seen for Rx-pot sales

Medical marijuana should hit Arkansas shelves for the first time next month, industry officials said, but they’re less sure about how widespread the drug’s availability will be.

State regulators this week completed final inspections at two more growing facilities, meaning they are cleared to begin growing marijuana. The first of five cultivators was cleared to begin growing plants in January.

The first of the state’s 32 dispensaries are expected to begin opening next month, and one seller has already requested an Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Division inspection.

What’s less clear is how much product will be available and how many retailers will be open in April.

Alex Gray, an attorney for the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association, expects a handful of dispensaries — fewer than 10 — to open next month, but some patients may have hourslong drives to reach a dispensary.

“I anticipate it will be possible for patients to obtain their medicine by mid-April,”

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