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Marijuana cultivation facility switches from Jefferson County to Jackson County last-minute

Natural State Wellness Enterprises, partially owned by former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, had the option of growing in Jefferson or Jackson County. It initially chose Jefferson County but has since decided to grow in Jackson County.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) — The five companies chosen to grow medical marijuana in Arkansas have paid the fees required to receive a license.

Natural State Medicinals Cultivation will be growing in Jefferson County. Bold Team LLC will set up in Woodruff County. Osage Creek Cultivation will build a facility in Carroll County and Delta Medical Cannabis Company Inc. will operate in Jackson County.

Natural State Wellness Enterprises had the option of growing in Jefferson or Jackson County. Earlier this week it was announced the company had chosen Jefferson County, but Friday, March 9 we learned they are now going with Jackson County

Jefferson County leaders and business owners were hopeful the two cultivation facilities would mean an economic boom for the area. While they will still have one, the change of plans hasn't gone over well in Jefferson County.

Larry Kirklin owns Kirklin’s Formalwear in The Pines Mall. He welcomed the idea of marijuana cultivation facilities in the county.

"For the economic impact, it would bring to Jefferson County," Kirklin said.

Friday morning Natural State Wellness announced they would locate in Jackson County instead.

“I was kind of disappointed in that for the simple reason that we need the jobs here and we knew they would bring jobs for us," Kirklin said.

When planning to locate in Jefferson County, Natural State Wellness was going to be located just behind The Pines Mall.

“That would have created more business for the mall in which we are definitely in need of so when that changed, it kind of hurt us," Kirklin said.

This leaves Jefferson County with Natural State Medicinals Cultivation which will be located just outside White Hall off Interstate 530 and Gravel Pit Road.

“It will be in Jefferson County, but we won’t see the benefits from it. More White Hall will get the benefits from that," Kirklin said.

Former Arkansas Attorney General and investor in the company, Dustin McDaniel, announced the company would pivot to Jackson county in a statement.

"Until Wednesday, we fully believed that we would locate in Jefferson County," McDaniel said. "However, John Chadwell and the leaders of Jackson County simply never gave up. This was a complicated business decision based on many factors that were more than just dollars and cents.”

Now, Natural State Wellness will be located next to the ASU Newport campus.

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