LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Monday is a big day for those trying to get into the medical marijuana business as it’s the last day applications will be accepted for dispensaries and cultivation facilities.
Many are taking every last minute to finalize their applications. Five cultivation facility licenses and 32 dispensary licenses will be granted. As of Friday morning, 19 cultivation facility applications have been submitted with 52 dispensary applications.
"We have been working on this for a year," said Kelli Bennett, founder of Serene Green Wellness.
Bennett is carefully working on an application to open a dispensary with grow off I-30 in Bryant. She's checked off every box needed to turn in a competitive application that she hopes will grant her a license, but she's not alone.
Inside the ABC Board office, stacks of thousands of papers include everything about future dispensary and cultivation facilities in the state as hopefuls are actively turning in their applications.
"It is fierce competition and you can sense it in the air as they turn them it, there is excitement," said Scott Hardin with the Department of Finance and Administration.
It doesn't take just time, effort, and research, but finances play a huge part as applicants have already invested millions of dollars. With many using every minute to finalize their application, Hardin expects more to pour in.
“We really anticipate Monday will be an extremely busy day," said Hardin.
The Medical Marijuana Commission will look at each and every detail and judge these applications based on a merit system.
“It’s basically a test, out of 100 points and whoever scores the best will get a license," said Hardin.
The deadline to apply is Monday at 4:30 p.m. There isn't a deadline for the commission to make their decisions, but they hope to have answers around November.