Where will medical marijuana dispensaries be located?

With medical marijuana now legal in Arkansas, cities across the state are trying to figure out how to regulate the new businesses that will be coming into the state.

That includes where dispensaries and grow centers will be located within communities.

"Where does it fit in with our zoning and where are they going to be allowed to operate within the city limits?" questioned city director Lance Hines.

Hines said he plans to pose the question to the city attorney during the board's weekly meeting.

"I think there's gonna be some folks out there that didn't vote for the medical marijuana issue that are going to have issues with where these dispensaries are allowed to go," he said.

According to the amendment adopted by voters, dispensaries may not be located within 1,500 feet of a school, church or daycare center and 3,000 feet for cultivation facilities.

Cities and counties have the ability to ban medical marijuana businesses, but it would require an ordinance approved by local voters.

Municipalities may enact zoning restrictions, but they must be the same as those applying to retail pharmacies.

The amendment allows up to eight cultivation facilities statewide and up to 40 dispensaries but no more than four in each county.

While some of the rules are written into the amendment, sponsor and attorney David Couch says other decisions are left for the yet-to-be established Medical Marijuana Commission.

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Drew Petrimoulx

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