Arkansas now up to seven operational medical marijuana dispensaries
BENTONVILLE — Seven medical marijuana dispensaries are now open around the state of Arkansas, and the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission says there are more on the way.
It has been nearly 3 years since Arkansans voted in medical marijuana, and by the end of 2019, everything is expected to be fully operational.
A combined 600 pounds of marijuana have been sold the seven locations since the first opening on May 10.
The newest in the sate is in Bentonville. The Releaf Center opened to the public Wednesday morning, and it’s the first one in Northwest Arkansas. Right now, 25 dispensaries remain. For the majority of those, an opening date is tentative, but there isn’t much the Medical Marijuana commission can do to speed along the process.
“There’s nothing within the amendment that requires dispensaries to be open by a certain date. So, we really don’t have any leverage there. However, we’re certainly encouraging them because we understand patients are ready.
To say they’re ready is an understatement. If you look at northwest Arkansas, this is a huge market and we expect the sales to be extremely strong,” said commission spokesperson Scott Hardin.
Of the five cultivation facilities approved in the state, three are operational.
The remaining two, both located in Newport in Jackson County, are expected to open by the end of the year as well.
The Medical Marijuana Commission released a list of each cultivation center and dispensary and their tentative opening dates.
There are three dispensaries planned for the City of West Memphis. The first is listed with an anticipated opening date of November 2019. A second is listed as opening “est. End of the Year,” with a third anticipated to open in January 2020.
CONWAY — An Arkansas couple was attacked by a man with a knife after pulling over to help him on an Arizona highway.
Coconino County Sheriff’s deputies and Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers from Flagstaff responded to the incident around 1:30 p.m. Monday, August 5. Upon arrival, authorities found the body of a man who appeared to have fallen from a moving vehicle.
Conway residents Lauren Harrison, 24, and Adolfo Iglesias, 23, said the man deputies found had attacked them, causing the couple to drive away while he was still on the vehicle.
Harrison and Iglesias said they originally stopped to assist the man, who had just been involved in a car accident.
According to Harrison, the two got out of their vehicle to help him. When the man didn’t open the door or roll down his window, Iglesias told Harrison to return to her vehicle. The couple said the man then started asking Iglesias if they were from the area.
“His wife and dogs were in the car and then he was talking about ditching the car,” Harrison said.
She said the man suddenly began grabbing something from the backseat of his car, so Iglesias returned to her vehicle. That’s when the man began running toward the victims.
Iglesias told his girlfriend to start driving away. As she did, the man jumped onto the roof of her car, punching and cracking her windshield with brass knuckles. He then punched through the sunroof, shattering it completely.
Harrison said the man had a knife that was attached to the brass knuckles.
Iglesias attempted to grab the knife from the man as he began trying to stab the couple through the sunroof. Stab marks from Harrison’s car show that the knife was less than half an inch from her arm.
“He grabbed my neck while I’m driving. Dolf would tell me when to slam on the breaks, speed up, or swerve to try to knock him off,” Harrison explained.
“The entire top half of his body was inside the car and I was going 65 to 70 mph as this was happening.”
“Finally, Dolf pushes him out of the car enough and I swerved hard and he was thrown off and I saw him in the rear view mirror in the road,” she said.
The couple stopped shortly after the incident to check their own injuries; both individuals had received cuts from the shattered sunroof and Iglesias had received a stab wound.
They started walking back toward the scene when they saw an EMS vehicle. A sheriff drove the couple to a nearby hospital to receive treatments for non-life threatening injuries.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
His motive is still unknown.