Marijuana Commission out of patience for unopenend dispensaries
LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission is cracking down on licensed dispensaries that have yet to open their doors a year after getting their license.
There are still 16 state dispensaries and two cultivators that have not opened for business, but the commission is tired of excuses as to why and is questioning what should have been enforced for the dispensaries from the start.
“I think one of our biggest decisions and biggest responsibilities as a commission is really holding these licenses and licensees accountable,” commissioner Travis Story said.
It’s a question of how the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission is working with the Alcohol Beverage Control board to find out what is going on with the state’s unopened dispensaries on the cusp of when they’re supposed to be renewing their licenses.
“He’s not acquiring this license to sit on it, he’s acquiring it with the full understanding that the commission expects this thing to be up and going,” said Alex Gray, representing Pine Bluff Agriceuticals and Arkansas Patient Services.
The above dispensaries are asking for a change of ownership, one before they even break ground.
But the commission says no and that those originally awarded a license should be responsible for opening doors.
“Obviously, the commission is very concerned with patient care and making sure that the people who have been awarded licenses start operating and using those licenses to provide the care throughout the state,” Story said.
What’s next, according to the commission, is figuring out how to ask the unopened dispensaries their reasons for stalling and letting their answers decide if they will even be able to continue their opening process later this year.
The renewal applications, along with applications for upcoming medical processors and transporters in the state, will be finalized at the commission’s next meeting, January 29.
Seven arrested in federal, state drug bust in Jonesboro
JONESBORO — A large-scale drug investigation netted the arrests of seven people Wednesday, along with more than five pounds of meth and six firearms, according to federal authorities.
According to a media release from the United States Attorney’s Office in Little Rock, authorities arrested Eiichi Moore, 41; Lakendra Samon Johnson, 27; and Jullian Woods, 33, together.
Authorities said the three were charged with conspiracy to distribute meth as well as distribution of meth. Officials went to Moore’s home Wednesday morning to make the arrest, the media release noted.
“During this morning’s arrests, police announced their presence at Moore’s resident and immediately heard shots fired from inside the home. Officers confirmed that Moore fired the shots while he and Thomas were in the master bedroom. Moore fired towards the living room, where minor children were sleeping,” officials said.
Also arrested were Alva Turner, 42, who is charged with possession of meth with intent to distribute; Lawrence Cannon, 49, who was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm; Mike Crockett, 31, who was charged with distribution of meth; and Percy Law Jr., 39, who was charged with possession of cocaine and crack cocaine with intent to deliver, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and three counts of distribution of meth.
In total, officials said eight people were indicted by a federal grand jury in the case. Moore was the reported ringleader in the case and is considered to be a known member of the Crip gang, officials said. An additional co-conspirator in the case has been indicted in the case but has not been arrested.
Officials said they have seized nearly 12 pounds of meth and 31 guns in the investigation, which is still ongoing.
“Five pounds of methamphetamine has a street value ranging from $35,000 to $50,000.
From these defendants, officers also seized six firearms, one of which was a semi-automatic firearm with an extended capacity magazine to hold extra ammunition, as well as cocaine and various drug paraphernalia. Four of the firearms, including an AR-15; numerous additional magazines, some with extended capacity; and over $35,000 in cash, were seized as part of today’s arrests,” officials said.