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Arkansas Medical Marijuana industry booming amid Coronavirus outbreak

Arkansas Medical Marijuana industry booming amid Coronavirus outbreak

Map of Arkansas dispensaries

Map of Arkansas dispensaries

While many businesses have been hit hard by the Coronavirus outbreak, one industry in Arkansas has seen their biggest profit yet. It’s medical marijuana.

“We have seen roughly a 75 to 80% increase in business from volumes of patients and sales all across the board,” said Kyle Campbell, the assistant manager of the ReLeaf Center in Bentonville. “I think that’s due to patients thinking we may close, so they’re trying to stock up, as well as maybe there’s a heightened level of stress.”

The Arkansas Department of Finance Administration reported 92 pounds of cannabis were purchased on March 20, 2020 alone. That amounts to a revenue of about $565,000.

“We don’t know specifically what to attribute that to, but certainly we know the COVID-19 response is going to play a part in that,” said Scott Hardin, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission. “What we think is likely is that Arkansans are just stocking up when they go to the dispensary. Instead of making that minimum purchase, they may be making that 2.5 ounce maximum purchase, which is a significant purchase. If you consider $400 an ounce, you’re looking at spending almost $1000 every two weeks and it looks like quite a few Arkansans are doing that. ”

Hardin said all 21 dispensaries open in the state are taking safety precautions during the coronavirus outbreak, from sanitizing surfaces to cleaning out stores. Plus many are offering curbside or delivery, like the ReLeaf Center.

“So we’re now at a 40 mile [radius], that now encompasses pretty much all of Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, Rogers,” said Campbell. “Goes all the way out to Siloam Springs, even parts of Eureka Springs. So we’re trying to make sure that we’re helping as many patients as we can right now. There’s a lot of people who don’t want to go out of the house right now, and we understand that, so we’re just trying to help.”


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